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A few days ago, I was conducting some research for a writing project when I came across a juicy little tidbit about the fledgling healthcare law. According to TownHall.com and many other sources, several lawmakers have recently suggested changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Interestingly enough, one of the changes currently on the table is the addition of another level of coverage, which they’ve hilariously named “copper.”
Before I go any further, let me go ahead and save you the trouble of sending me hate mail. First of all, I don’t blame anyone who accepts a subsidy to buy health insurance. You didn’t create the rules, right? You’re just doing what anyone would do, including me.
Also, I know that some of you will write to let me know how great Obamacare has turned out for you. I mean, you got a Platinum plan with no deductible and full dental coverage for only a pack of gum per month, right? That’s great. Unfortunately, people who make more than 400% of the federal poverty limit don’t get an ooey gooey subsidy, and have full price for the plan they select.
Anyways, let’s get back to the issue at hand- copper healthcare plans. Basically, the idea is this: The ACA would begin offering a lower tier of plans for people who found the cheapest plans, currently called bronze plans, unaffordable. The copper plans would offer lower premiums in exchange for higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. At first I thought this sounded great. I mean, many of you may not remember, but my main beef with Obamacare is that cheapest ACA-approved plans cost exactly double what I currently pay for health insurance. And since we’re young and healthy, we have no desire to pay more for health insurance than is required.
Healthcare.gov: The Little Engine That Won’t Go Away
It had been a while since I’ve checked out healthcare.gov for available options, so I thought I would head back over to see what kinds of goodies they’re currently offering. Strangely enough, the plans it’s showing now are different than the ones they offered the last time I wrote about Obamacare. The cheapest plan currently available to my family of 4 in central Indiana:
Provider: Physician’s Health Plan
- Cost: $782 per month
- Deductible: $12,000 per year
- Out-of-Pocket Max: $12,000 per year
Obviously, that’s insane. They want me to pay almost $800 per month for a plan that doesn’t provide coverage unless we spend $12,000 in a single year. That’s almost as much as my house payment! I know what you’re going to say. “But now you have maternity coverage and blah blah blah.” But do I really? I had two C-sections and neither one of them cost $12,000. Having a $12,000 deductible means that I wouldn’t have maternity coverage unless things went horribly wrong. Besides, Greg had a vasectomy. So there.
Anyway, the prospect of lower premiums sounds good, right? But wait….a higher deductible? And higher out-of-pocket costs? Well, this is where it goes from intriguing to downright tragic.
Copper Obamacare Plans: Simultaneously Hilarious and Sad
According to Med City News, the new copper plans would be similar to bronze plans, except that they would cover only 50 percent of your healthcare costs after you met your deductible instead of 60 percent. No news yet on what the new deductibles for copper plans might be, but it sounds like they would be higher than those for bronze plans, and would be in addition to the increased cost-sharing that copper plans would require.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Apparently, copper plans would save people an average of 20 percent off the cost of a bronze plan, which means that I may be able to score a Shiny New Copper Obamacare plan for……..wait for it….. as little as $625 per month.
Sigh. Now, I was slightly insulted when they thought I should pay almost $800 per month for a plan with a $12,000 deductible. But this? It just goes to show that we shouldn’t underestimate the level of stupidity involved in the monstrosity known as Obamacare. They must be living in a fantasy land! Speaking of fantasy lands…..
Obamacare is Making Me Find Religion
If anything good has come out of this, it’s that Obamcare is actually making me consider becoming more religious. I had heard about it before, but I recently rediscovered a loophole that says that people can avoid the individual mandate and Obamacare penalty by joining a religious healthcare ministry. Well, I checked a few out, and the news wasn’t bad at all. Through a healthcare ministry like Christian Healthcare Ministries, I could buy minimal coverage for my family for as little as $200 per month. Score! Of course, I’d have to meet these four requirements in order to qualify.
• be Christians living by biblical principles
• abstain from the use of tobacco and the illegal use of drugs (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
• follow biblical teaching on the use of alcohol
• attend group worship regularly if health permits (Hebrews 10:25)
Hmmm…..this is where it gets tricky. The first one is certainly questionable, especially on the weekends. On the other hand, I’m rock freakin’ solid on #2. I’m not sure what #3 means, but I’m guessing that we might be somewhere on the threshold of possibly not qualifying for that one. And for #4, we’re totally covered if watching Joel Osteen on TV counts. He’s adorable.
What do you think about copper Obamacare plans? How has the new healthcare law impacted your family?