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Now I've done my research about this AHA and I've seen the numbers that people have to pay from that so here is my advice and it should only be read by people who haven't already dug in and said .."NO!" (Because it will not be "heard" by them.) I am NOT here for a debate or to convince anyone who has decided they hate it. This is only advice for people on the fence or have yet to educate themselves regarding what this law is really about.
First, let me say that there SHOULD be an OPT OUT option. If people don't want health insurance (for whatever reason) they should be able to not be covered. If your child, you, a spouse, whomever gets sick or injured, you should get the bills directly from the hospital or doctors office and have to pay.
The hospital or doctor should not be stiffed for those costs, however, if you find that you can't pay. I guarantee that if you are complaining about the monthly costs of this AHA being high then you can in no way in the world pay what the hospital or doctor will charge you. But if you view that and say, I want to take the gamble, you should have EVERY right to do so. And that's one of the components that aren't right.
That being said, hospital bills are ridiculous, doctor bills are ridiculous. Have you ever looked at your insurance biils and see what the hospital or doctor is truly charging? It's a nightmare! As a person who grew up poor where we had no health insurance for some time this can crush a family to pieces. Even now DH and I pay $800 a month for health insurance from his company for him+spouse+family (since we have ONE child now)
$800 a month is also highway robbery!!!
Anyone who is still on the fence: DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
-Do NOT do that calculator on the website and think those #s are what you pay. (I've used that calculator and for HIGHER insurance than what we get I would only pay $500! So even the numbers there made me happy) However those are not your true costs.
-Look at the salary range for the amount of people in your home. If you fall between that very generous scale you pay WAYY less than what's quoted there.
-Once you get your TRUE monthly costs remember that you will also get a TAX credit at the end of the year.
- Think about it in a different way: You shell out insurance costs to drive your car and think nothing of it. It is just so and required. Why would you not pay for insurance to protect you and your loved ones so that they can get the proper healthcare that they need. I've had the "luxury" of watching a family member be turned away for extended medical care because they had no insurance. NO family should have to go through that because they can't afford the ridiculous costs that your company's insurance charges, or the doctor bills that will come flowing in.
So if you want to be angry and rage against something, rage against the OUTRAGEOUS costs of healthcare in this country and the scandalous way that insurance companies have been able to operate up until now.
People are DYING out there because they have no or TOO LOW health care to get extended operations that they need or medicines that they require. Its sick and this act helps alleviate a lot of that.
As always, my best advice is do your own homework.
Last edited by MsRK; October 22nd, 2013 at 03:07 AM.
I get that everyone should have access to good health care ... that makes sense. It's just at what cost? Even $75 a month is too expensive for some people. Think about those working minimum wage jobs trying to pay rent and bills ... here let's tack on another one!
And the tax credit? I think it's BS - the $ needs to be paid and some people can't sit back and wait until tax time to get reimbursed. I don't even think the tax credit is equal to what you're going to pay of pocket.
I just think the entire situation is sad. Does everyone need health insurance? Yes. Does everyone need to be forced to pay through the roof for it? No.
The fine is only hundreds of dollars at most not thousands. And not everyone is eligible for a tax credit, because we aren't.
We are well aware of what hospital bills cost, my husband had to go to the emergency room last month and then be transferred to another hospital. We do not have insurance so we got the whole bill and paid it. While it wasn't cheap it also wasn't by any means ridiculous either. If we had insurance we would be paying close to $1000 a month and still have a $6000 deductible. Guess what.. The insurance wouldn't have even paid a single penny for those two ER visits because we would have had the deductible to meet. That's ridiculous!! We will take our chances and pay the hospital bills instead of insurance. Most years we don't have anywhere close to $6000 in medical bills so insurance would actually never be used. Not worth it for us.
The first year the fine is very low, after that it gets higher not real sure exactly how how high it can get. I knew at one time but have forgotten now. With that said, I have to say not everyone can afford it at all. I am going to do something I would not normally do but I am anyways. DH makes 3200 a month we pay 1509 for our house payment that leaves us 1691 a month to live on, now of that we spend at least 950 on other bills sometimes as high as 1200. So that then leaves me somewhere between 490-740 to buy gas, groceries, tires, register the vehicles, whatever needs to be done, buy clothes, and (I know they are a luxury but I don't care) feed my animals. We don't have a lot of money but we are happy and we pay our bills. Now imagine me having to pay even 200 in a premium every month, which I know it will not be that low there is no way not with 4 people in the house and one of them being a smoker. I went to the doc more during my pregnancy than I have EVER gone to the doc before and I paid cash as I went until the end and I do have some bills still that I am paying on(which I have not included in the 'bills' money that comes out of the 490-740 that I have 'left over' every month.) DH and I neither one go to the doc very much so we would never meet the requirements if it was on of those that says you have to pay x amount first and then the insurance kicks in. In a normal year DH and I might spend 300 on health care between the two of us. Now granted we spend a bit more on the kids and insurance would be nice for them if I could afford it but I can't so I do what I can and they ALWAYS see the doc if they need to. Oh and we don't get tax credit, we would not see a dime of that back. As things stand, I can afford to go see my doc if I really need, a visit to his office is only 35 that is it, but if I was having to pay for insurance I would not be able to afford to because I would be paying that premium plus I would have to have enough to pay the copay. It would hurt my family more than help. Oh and I can tell you that where I live, while the actual numbers may be a little different for each family, you are looking at the same type of situation for about 75% of the families in the area.
I don't care how glorious anyone thinks this "affordable" (right! lol) care is, the fact of the matter is when you FORCE people to participate in something, especially something that carries a monetary consequence you quench their freedom. I can't afford insurance, luckily my girls qualify for medical because we are low income enough, so they are good. I haven't had insurance in years and neither has my husband. Yes the whole health care system in this country is corrupt and bonkers, health care should not be a privilege it should be a right.
I am happy that we can afford to pay whatever our monthly outrageous insurance cost is to not have to deal with ACA. I am surprised how many of you are affected by it and it clearly is not a broad solution.
So here's what I always question. Anya states that healthcare should be a right, not a privelege. That sounds good- it isn't just the rich that get sick and poor people shouldn't just flat out die because they can't pay for even the most basic treatment.
But I honestly don't know how we as a country make that happen. I think medical costs are insanely high, but is that just because insurance milks them for everything and most people here are litigious jerks that sue at the blink of an eye and then win, so the docs need to keep personal insurance, which then gets passed on to patients? So if we in turn change the legal system to reduce stupid law suits, will that improve costs? And do we regulate insurance to keep costs from sky rocketing?
And even then, even if costs are dirt cheap, some poor people with really serious diseases that need a lot of treatment still aren't going to be able to afford it. So who pays for those people? Does the gov't pay for everything? How is that regulated? I don't really want MORE gov't involvement- everything they touch falls apart. But if they only pay for the people in poverty, what's to stop people on the cusp to just say forget it, I'll let the gov't pay for me too, and then people abuse the system.
I'm not sure what a good solution looks like. I think forcing people to do something they don't want isn't the right direction. (Though the similarity of car insurance is an interesting one, though not quite the same when thinking about a car privilege vs. personal health...) I know I don't want the government getting too involved with anything between me and my doctor. We have enough issues with old, white guys trying ot make decisions for young women these days and the idea of them legislating what medical staff can and can't do is scary.
It's difficult to make a broad statement when the costs and plans available vary so much by state. Here in NH, under the ACA, we have one of the highest costs of all the states by going to the exchange. Additionally, there is only one insurer willing to do the exchange right now, and the network provided is far more limited than what one would get through an employer-sponsored plan. Only 14 hospitals are covered in the entire state, which leaves a HUGE gap. However, I also know that employer-sponsored insurance is not affordable, particularly for smaller companies (both the companies and the employees) or in my industry where we have an average worker age of over 55. Our employees are currently paying $135 per pay period for individual coverage with a $5,000 deductible (of which we reimburse the 2nd $3,000). In 2014, that will increase to $168 per pay period. They're paid every 2 weeks. I had insurance when I had Xavier, but I will be paying off my share of all the deductibles for quite some time. What I'm here to say is that yes, the system is broken, but there are so many variables and different situations that I'm not sure what the solution is. It appears to me that the intent is to price employers out of the marketplace so that everyone is forced to go to the exchange. The fines that employers will then have to pay would possibly help fund the lower rates for some individuals. I'm sure it will be interesting to see how everything shakes out over time.
Mommy to Jasmine (17), Kirsten (14), Ana (12), Katie (3), Xavier (1), and Gunnar (born 10-15-14)