Why We're Opting Out of Obamacare - picture of file folders with one labelled Insurance

Why We’re Opting Out of Obamacare

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By now, everyone knows that the President’s claim that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was a stretch of the imagination, if not a flat-out lie.  Millions of people who bought their policies on the open market found out the hard way that we would not, in fact, be able to keep our plans late last summer.

But, as the newly illegal plans were cancelled one by one, people started freaking out in the media, on the news, on radio shows, and in local town hall meetings.  And due to the backlash, many of the plans were extended another year, including mine.

Even though my plan got a one-year extension, I still tinkered around with the new healthcare exchange to see what the future might hold.  You can read those old posts here, here, and here.  I still remember the first time I got on Healthcare.gov and found that the cheapest plan available would cost nearly $800 per month and come with a $12,000 family deductible.  $12,000 with no vision coverage, no dental, no nothing.  I thought it had to be a mistake at first.  A $12,000 deductible?  That couldn’t be right, could it?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a mistake at all- it was entirely planned.  And since we make more than 400 percent of the federal poverty limit, we were expected to pay up or pay a fine.  The good news was, I had a year to figure something else out.  I watched the news and waited, hoping that new options might come available somehow.

They Want Me To Pay What?IMG_20141005_171153660

Then this past weekend, I received a piece of mail that I’ve been dreading- my 2015 Anthem health insurance package.   The affordable health insurance we have had for several years is finally going to expire.  Finally.  But what would they replace it with?  I braced myself as I opened the Anthem mailer to find out.

Since Indiana insurers asked for rate increases between 9 percent and 46 percent for 2015, I didn’t have any illusions that premiums would go down.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  In the letter, Anthem offered to automatically enroll me in their least expensive and most comparable plan to what I already had- an Anthem Bronze Pathway plan with a $12,000 family deductible.  The price tag?  A cool $897 per month- more than the minimum payment on my mortgage.

To put things in perspective, our old Anthem plan was $393 per month and came with an $11,000 deductible.  So aside from the fact that they are asking for a 120% increase of my premiums, my deductible would actually go up with this plan.  Hard to believe, isn’t it? 

Not only would I be paying $504 more per month just for insurance, but I also wouldn’t see any benefit unless we spent $12,000 (or $1,000 per month) on healthcare in a calendar year.  And even if we did spend $1,000 per month on care until we reached our deductible, the calendar year would start over- and along with it, the deductible.

I would laugh if it weren’t so incredibly sad.

It’s Not Only About Affordability, It’s About Value

I have to wonder what the people in charge of creating this law were smoking the day they came up with this scam.  Sure, many of us who make more than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit ($94,000 for a family of 4) can afford to pay $900 per month for health insurance or more.  Hell, many of us can even afford to pay a $12,000 deductible.  But, will we?

I know I sure as hell won’t.

Because, to me, it has very little to do with what I can afford and everything to do with value.  There is little value to be found in a health insurance plan that requires me to shell out $12,000 for a deductible before I see a dollar of coverage.  That is, of course, taking into consideration our “free well visits.” <insert eye roll here>

Why We’re Opting Out of Obamacare

The truth is, I could afford a lot of things- including a $897 monthly premium and a $12,000 deductible.  I don’t deny that.

But, guess what….

  • I could also afford the $800 monthly payment on a new BMW 4-Series if I really wanted one.
  • And according to this housing calculator, my husband and I can afford the payment on a home up to $600,000.
  • I can afford to quit my job and sit on my ass all day, living off my husband’s salary.
  • I could afford to replace my sapphire engagement ring with a diamond so big many people would find it offensive.

But I don’t do or buy any of those things.  Why?  Because I know a bad value when I see one, and because I am focused on saving for retirement, for my children’s college education, and for the future.

In summary, we’re not opting out of Obamacare because we cannot afford it.  We’re opting out because it is a complete rip-off, a sad joke, and a money-grab of epic proportions.  Instead, we’ve opted to join a healthcare sharing ministry, a situation I’ll write more about more in the coming weeks.

We’ll be without traditional health insurance for the first time in our lives in just a few months- a development I find troubling.  I have to wonder if that was somehow what the law intended, or if the architects of this law really expected the middle class to pay so heavily for care they would likely never receive.  Either way, I just can’t bring myself to pour $900 per month into the black hole that is Obamacare while getting almost nothing in return.

Because, $900 per month for a plan with a $12,000 deductible isn’t affordable healthcare- it’s extortion.

For more of our thoughts on Obamacare and Healthcare Sharing Ministries, try these awesome posts:

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110 Comments

  1. Holy smokes! That’s a lot of money..and for such a high deductible too. Insurance companies are nothing more than legal mafias! I mean who else shakes you down monthly for protection money to cover you for something that you had better not use? Get sick? You get dinged for being ill, lose coverage or pay through the nose. Car insurance – have an accident ? ..get dinged for that, have your premium increased or cancelled. House insurance – file a claim for something covered? – get dinged for that too! You pay money for “nothing” ‘cos soon as you have “something” , you get screwed!!! I look forward to hearing more about the Ministry thing … I paid like $35 for an E.R. visit to a private hospital, cash price in Malta for excellent care.

    1. A $35 ER visit would never happen in the United States! Never!

      1. My wife and I experienced a very similiar scenario.

        We were 26 at the time. Made over 400% of the poverty level.

        Prior to Aca I could buy coverage for $90 per month for just myself.

        Now the cheapest plan offered is $270 per month on my exchange.

        That would be $540 per month for my wife and I to basically have nothing more than a catastrophic coverage policy.

        What is the probability that two mid 20 year old individuals are going to require $6,000 per year in premiums+ $10,000 in deductible in medical care??? Next to none. It’s a total farce.

        Luckily my mom informed me about medishare. We are paying less than before Aca for basically the same coverage.

        I just can’t comprehend why the media has turned a blind eye to people like us. Every article published on yahoo only discusses how the average heavily subsidized premium has gone down. They totally neglect to inform people of the skyrocketing unsubsidized premiums.

        400% of the poverty level is by no means well off especially for people in high cost areas NYC, San Diego, and even in places like midland tx, Bakken oil fields. Basically anywhere that supports 400% incomes is going to have a correspondingly high cost of living.

        1. Oh, I wonder the same thing. Subsidized plans seem to be relatively affordable for most people, but the rest of us are basically screwed. I also wonder what the probability of us reaching a 12K deductible in any given year, after of course we paid out over 10K just for premiums. What a joke!

          You’re right that 94K isn’t silly stinkin’ rich. That’s just what happens when two working parents have decent incomes.

          1. The scary thing to me is I had something simple (food allergies) go from my developing hives when exposed to certain foods to anaphylaxis (throat swells shut). The total cost of bills for allergists, testing, epi-pens and ER visits in this one year probably did top $12k 🙁 which just tells you how broken and out of control the medical system is in the US.
            The total bill for 2 ER visits in 2 weeks was actually over $5k! Thank goodness I have “only” had to pay about $200-$300 of that in co-pays.

  2. Wow that is an incredible amount of money! They have really managed to screw this whole thing up. It kinda makes you wonder what kind of a disaster it would be if they ever tried to replace Social Security or another type of government plan.

  3. I really don’t blame you for your decision – and I’m looking forward to hearing more about your healthcare sharing program. I hope that by the time we’re out of the workforce and looking for individual policies the numbers make more sense because right now they’re pretty ridiculous.

  4. That’s so depressing and infuriating. You’re absolutely right, that is not affordable health care. Through my employer we pay $213/mo for a family of 4.

  5. It’s amazing how much just being in a different market influences this type of thing, too. We are paying quite a bit more for all our insurance living in FL compared to when we were living in WI. I certainly understand your decision to opt out and am curious to hear about what you’ve decided to do instead.

    1. Oh yes. I know that some markets are much better than others. Unfortunately, I am stuck in a crappy and expensive one.

  6. “Because, to me, it has very little to do with what I can afford and everything to do with value.” I could not agree more Holly! This is just a cluster of massive proportions, that I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad. Our premium isn’t as bad, but have been told it’ll reach it sooner rather than later and with a 25% increase a few months ago I believe it. Our deductible is the same as well, but have been told if we up our premium than we can get the ultra low deductible of $11,000. Of course, it doesn’t add up. I have my own post going up in a few weeks as we’re eerily close to doing the same thing you and Greg are. It is troubling, but what else can you do when it’s near extortion level?

    1. 11K and 12K deductibles blow my mind. How is this affordable healthcare?

  7. Ditto, Holly!!!! We are lucky that Rick’s work plan is pretty cheap (in 2015 it goes up but still costs us under $400 a month), but this Obamacare thing has turned out to be a hell-hole-ish mess just as so many predicted it would. There just wasn’t enough research and thought put into it before they rolled it out, and now people are suffering more financially than they were before regarding health insurance. what a shame.

    1. It seems that there are just as many losers as winners now. It’s not any better than the system we had before.

  8. I don’t think you pointed it out clearly enough that the “no nothing” means no HSA. To me that was the part of the $12K deductible plan that was so awful.

    I’ll be interested to hear more about this healthcare ministry. The idea is interesting, and I would love to hear about how it works from someone who is using it.

  9. We were in the same situation paying over $800/month for ridiculous coverage and we are also not eligible for any deductions. I had researched the health sharing ministry alternative (thanks for the tip), we pulled the plug and as of this month are now using the health sharing alternative. This is my first time ever without traditional medical insurance as I lived in Canada up until last year where it is universal coverage. It was very unfair to pay so much for zero value and also be penalised financially for being self-employed. Looking forward to hearing your perspective on the health sharing ministry.

    1. I hope it works well for you! Lisa Aberle wrote about her experience with a healthcare sharing ministry on Get Rich Slowly today!

    1. Yeah, someone has to pay for it!

      Unfortunately, I think the whole scheme will backfire. When people like me find out there is an alternative, they will not want to pay exorbitant sums for health insurance either. The numbers just don’t add up.

  10. UGH. This sucks Holly. Insurance in this country is crazy. My husband has his health insurance increase meeting this week. I’m sure mine is coming up soon. On the most basic level, it is sad that my husband and I can’t be on the same insurance plans without being bent over.
    I’m excited to hear about your alternative. At $900/month with a $12,000 deductible, the system is broken.

    1. Umm….yeah it really is. But I can’t wait to get enraged emails from people who claim I CAN AFFORD IT! I love it when other people tell me what I can and should pay for healthcare.

  11. We pay 354 with a high deductible, but thats not as great as it sounds when you consider it only covers me and my 3 year old. When we were shopping around before I quit my job and seeing all the prices, i was pissed for a couple of weeks. We had our insurance through my job for all of us, and I felt like I was being penalized by the government for being abke to quit my job. I sure didnt want to have to keep my job just for insurance purposes! Im scared to see how much our premium will go up this year…

    1. Ha! I was too! Open enrollment starts on November 15th-I’m sure plenty of people will get bad news that day!

    1. We are going to join a healthcare sharing ministry for around $449 per month. It’s similar to health insurance but not exactly the same thing. And fortunately, it exempts you from having to buy an Obamacare policy.

  12. We are absolutely of one mind on this one, Holly. I recognized long ago that Obamacare was never about affordable health care (the name of the act is quite the oxymoron), but instead it is about controlling the population through forcing them to spend their money in a way that the government dictates. And it is so convoluted that even the people who wrote the law don’t know what is in it…(Nancy Pelosi’s “we have to pass the law to know what is in the law”) Do these people ever listen to themselves?

    1. Healthcare did need some kind of overhaul, but the execution on this is pitiful. I think Obamacare just goes to show the kind of solutions we can expect from big-government types. What’s really sad is that they are still defending it!

      1. Because every element of the federal government is a bribed and/or paid-off shill for the Rothschild Zionists who planned this deliberate attack on the middle class long in advance.

  13. I agree with you 100%.
    As I consider leaving the workforce temporarily to raise my children, I’ve actually had to consider these rip off plans.
    I am currently a teacher with a fairly cheap and good health insurance plan, but we are soon having our third child and childcare for three children will cost more than I net each month. My husband’s plan (he’s an attorney) would be $1,000 a month for a $6,000 deductible. That’s $18,000 a year for health insurance!!!! Even putting our kids on CHIP is an absolute rip off for us. We make over 400 times the federal poverty level (which is really not that much considering all we have to save for college, retirement, and our massive (thousands a month) childcare payments and the exorbitant cost of real estate in our area.
    Can you tell me more about the healthcare sharing ministry?
    I was wondering if you could evaluate a plan that I am looking at in PA. It’s not as cheap as your old plan, but not as expensive as your new one.

    1. Healthcare sharing ministries exempt you from paying the penalty for not having health insurance and also provide you with some type of coverage. The one we’re going with is Liberty Healthshare (http://www.libertyhealthshare.org). However, there are a few others. Basically, you pay a monthly “share” into a pool of like-minded people and you pool your healthcare bills. Each family has a annual unshared amount similar to a deductible. For the plan we’ve chosen, our “unshared amount” will be $1,500 per year. The monthly premium will be $449 per month.

      The drawbacks:
      There are lifetime caps, depending on the plan. For example, the lifetime cap per illness is $1 million for the plan we’ve chosen.
      They can turn you away for pre-existing conditions.
      They don’t cover certain procedures they find objectionable- things like abortion and sex changes.

      Yes, I would look at your plan! Email it or put a link here!

  14. I definitely look forward to reading about what you are switching to. We pay $200 a month for a $12,700 deductible. While $200 isn’t a TON of money, it’s something that we will most likely never use in a long time. We also plan on having children soon and I don’t even want to know what our price will be jacked up to.

    1. One good thing about the healthcare law is that it made it so pregnancy is no longer a pre-existing condition. So you could get pregnant on the plan you have now with no problems. The bad news is, with a $12,700 deductible, you wouldn’t really have maternity coverage. LOL Sorry to laugh, but it’s just comical at this point.

  15. Obamacare has been horrible for the middle class. It does sometimes make you want to earn less money. We got out anthem letter saying our plan was grandfathered and would be continued, but it didn’t list the premium. I can’t wait to see how much it went up. Once it gets to over $500 per month, Siena and I will go on Jim’s work plan. We’ll lose the HSA, which sucks, but at least he only has a copay if we do go to the doctor.

  16. I’m looking forward to reading about your future healthcare experience (including price and quality). It’s nice to read about what other people’s opinions are, including how their individual experiences affect their politics – thanks for sharing.

  17. I think it’s really important to point out that states who rely on the Government exchange are the ones who are experiencing these kinds of issues: ridiculous premiums, etc. etc. The states were supposed to make their own exchanges in addition to the Government exchange (which sucks).

    Am looking to see when new insurance companies start to crop up as an alternative to these policies. It’s just a matter of time as that is how capitalism is SUPPOSED to work. Note…a teensy bit of sarcasm.

    Am wondering what other alternatives are out there.

  18. Every health sharing ministry I have been exposed to clearly state in the terms and conditions that they have zero obligations to pay any amount of money on your claim. If they choose to they may thank you for your monthly payment and tell you nothing is going to be paid toward your claim (outright scam or Ponzi scheme at best). I would love it if more people in your situation would rage an all-out battle against the system by refusing to buy the insurance and also refusing to pay the IRS fines. I believe that nothing will change with obamacare until hundreds if not thousands of wealthy Americans are imprisoned and have all of their personal property taken by the government for not following the law. Please don’t right a complaint online and then post how you are using a loophole to get around your obligations. Do the right thing. Refuse to pay. Live with the consequence of your actions and pray there are enough other conscientious Americans who are willing to take a stand with you. I thank you in advance for your sacrifice

    1. Sorry, but I have too much to lose. I know several people who are currently using health care sharing ministries and benefitting from them. I don’t want to leave my family without any type of coverage. Healthcare sharing ministries are not perfect, but they are my only option at this point.

    2. Every single health insurance policy I’ve ever read states that benefits are not a guarantee of payment. It’s a standard disclaimer. I don’t see any more risk in the disclaimer given by the health sharing ministries. Ultimately you’re paying far less into a system that may not pay your claims (just like your health insurance may not pay your claims).

      Health insurance and healthcare are not one size fits all. As long as you are doing what’s right for you and your family, that’s all that matters, Holly.

  19. I definitely don’t blame you Holly and it’s crazy. I have a client in a similar situation and we literally determined that no healthcare was the best opportunity for her. Even if she has to pay a fee on her taxes it would be significantly less than what they want to charge her. She pays for doctor’s visits out of pocket now and actually gets great deals from doctor’s offices because she pays cash and doesn’t have insurance.

  20. This is what happens when you allow a bunch of politicians to craft health insurance plans. Good lord. I would do the same thing as you if I didn’t have good coverage through my employer.

    What is the penalty for just skipping it all together?

  21. Jeff Croke says:

    That’s still %30 less than what my COBRA plans cost the last few times I was laid off (project based employment) for just my wife and myself. The COBRA plans generally ran about $1000-1200 per month – and we certainly never approached our deductible. It wasn’t affordable 10 years ago (especially while unemployed). Perhaps it’s still not affordable today….but at least we can’t be rejected for per-existing conditions and that alone may be worth the price.

    1. Did you have a $12,000 deductible while you continued your COBRA coverage? Because that’s what we’re talking about here- a $12,000 deductible!

      And no, I totally disagree. Being extorted is not worth solving the pre-existing conditions problem. And I can say that from experience because I have had a pre-existing condition in the past and have been denied for health insurance. I would rather take my chances than allow my family to be extorted.

  22. That is nuts- almost $900 a month?! We have employer-based health insurance from my husband’s job, and it still takes up a huge chunk every month. Health insurance is so screwed up in America, it’s not even funny.

  23. This is pure craziness! We would have to do the same thing if we were in your shoes. Just like you said, even if we could “afford” it, it’s not a good value.

    There are many military families who are voluntarily separating from the military who have no idea how expensive private health care insurance. As military families, we pay pennies, compared to this proposed “affordable healthcare” plan.

    Wishing you and your family the best!

  24. That’s insanity, Holly. I certainly can’t blame you from opting out and finding a more affordable option. It’s a real shame because the idea of everyone having access to affordable healthcare is a good one, but unfortunately that’s clearly still not the reality. Chris works for a large Corporation and I’m really glad he enjoys his work because we’d pay significantly more for our healthcare too.

  25. What amount of penalty will you end up paying?

    Have you considered having one of you get a normal job just for the affordable health insurance coverage?

    1. We aren’t going to pay a penalty- we’re going to join a healthcare sharing ministry instead for $449 per month. Doing so exempts you from having to pay the penalty.

      No, I do not want to get a “regular job” just for the healthcare benefits. I would likely have to take a pay cut to do so, and isn’t “job lock” one of the big problems this law was supposed to solve?

      My husband is a mortician with a regular job. Unfortunately, most funeral homes are small businesses and therefore do not offer insurance coverage. Actually, many businesses all over the country do not offer health insurance coverage- and this law is just leading to the further elimination of plans.

      1. That sounds like a really good alternative for someone in your situation. People in your situation are definitely a small (but vocal) minority, it’s great to see that there is still a way for you to get the coverage you need.

  26. Ross Hauswirth says:

    If you voted for Obama then you are getting exactly what you voted for – subsidized health care
    Health care IS affordable – all you have to do is nothing
    Nothing as in don’t work and suck off the Federal Government

    1. I have a job! Maybe that’s where I went wrong…..

  27. Your healthcare posts are always my favorites Holly! I feel like we’ve all been scammed by this “affordable” system bullshit. We have benefits through my husband’s employer, a fortune 500 corporation, and this year has been a nightmare with the new insurance. Our deductibles are $6,000 each, $12,000 family! $500 for ER. $500ish/mo premiums – which is a significant chunk of our take home pay (retail…) My husband was in a car accident earlier this year (other driver 100% at fault) and we’ve had to pay so much out of pocket, we’ve maxed out credit cards. We’re also experiencing a whole new service…or lack thereof…”no service until payment made in full” including $3000 MRI’s and $6000 injection procedures (back injury)…if you do NOT pay it right then and there, they will NOT see you. It’s upsetting and stressful, and I’m really fucking over it. /Rant 🙂

    1. Honestly I thought about just quitting and getting the free stuff, then I realized we’re a kid short to qualify for anything anyway….bummer.

      1. Yikes! Is the driver’s insurance covering your medical bills? That is insane!

        I know I was hit my a driver once and got my two front teeth knocked out- my car insurance paid my medical bills until I reached a settlement with the driver’s insurance provider. I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

        1. Our car insurance paid out $2,000 towards it. The driver’s insurance refused to deal with us, so we had to resort to a lawyer (they didn’t even replace our car! Towed it away, haven’t paid us for it!). Who knows how long it will take, in the mean time it’s all on us to keep up with it. Including an upcoming back surgery (1st of 3)….not a good year, and shitty health insurance certainly made it 100x worse. Thanks for blasting it. 🙂 Get tired of people talking about how awesome and cheap it is….psh… Really hoping ACA is booted…or overhauled for the better. (HA.)

          1. I know it is different in different states and plans are different, but my plan was set up to pay the first 100K in my medical bills through PIP:

            http://www.ehow.com/about_4611021_definition-pip-insurance.html

            I had to be the world’s biggest bitch about it and call and yell at them 2-3 times a month but they did pay my 17K in medical bills. Do you have PIP coverage? If so, how much? In my personal experience, I’ve found that your auto insurance will not even tell you that you have the right to use that coverage. I only knew about it because I have several family members who work in the industry and they guided me through the process.

          2. Never heard of that, I will definitely be looking into it tonight! Thank you!

          3. Get your auto policy out and see if you have PIP insurance. And if so, what kind of coverage. Like I said, I had 100K. My insurance agent did not even tell me about it. I had to dig deep-real deep. Then, like I said, I had to call and bitch all the time like it was my part-time job.

  28. The ACA was a good start. Unfortunately it quickly became politicized. So it’s become impossible to revise or improve; something which could have already been happening. Face it, now even the wingers want some sort of universal healthcare. This deal is done; we’ve got to compromise and figure out how to make it more affordable (this will require more sacrifice from providers, doctors, and drug companies).

    I am on my same inexpensive high deductible policy. I was never forced to drop it, never threatened to be dropped, etc. From the get-go of ACA all I had to do was keep paying for my same policy and coverage. And it’s the same story for 2015. I’m good with that! I’m 59, $5000 deductible, prescriptions for $12/30 days, free yearly physical and tests, inexpensive Dr. visits. However, I could be dropped easier, I have a lifetime maximum, etc. My plan is HALF THE COST of the least expensive ACA plan!

  29. Ben Luthi says:

    This just makes me sick. It makes it so much harder for people who are self-employed (or want to go self-employed). I think the health industry needs a major overhaul too, but this isn’t the right answer.

  30. I pay $786 for my wife and I and it does include dental but is a slightly subsidized retirement benefit that the subsidy decreases each year. When I retired my 2010 premium was $471 so its up considerably but I do have a low $3500 deductible. I am not looking forward to this years changes. It is my biggest expense. My son-in-law is self-employed and complained about the same thing last year with the ACA health exchange rates and he used E-Health (https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/ ) to find a policy for them. I am sure rates differ State to State.

  31. I’m probably naive to the whole Obama Care, since we have our work related insurance, I had always envisioned that when I am done working, FI in the next 7 years that I would get insurance at an affordable rate on the private market. Sounds like I need to build up my HSA considerably if this is not the case.

    1. If you can live on passive income, you’ll probably be fine. Subsidies are available for people under 46K for a single and 94K for a family of four. Those subsidies make the plans more affordable. And the less you earn, the more affordable it will all be.

      Unfortunately, we’re in the wealth accumulation phase. So we’re trying to earn as much money as we can and stash it away. Obamacare punishes you for earning more than 94K by trying to coerce you into paying the full, unsubsidized premiums for this monstrosity. And in my case, the cheapest plan is $900 per month at the moment with a $12,000 deductible.

  32. Did you look at ALL of the available plans for your state? Or did you only look through the Bronze ones? Bronze-Silver-Gold don’t have anything to do with pricing on the marketplace. They have to do with coverage.

    Out of curiosity, I put in Marion County, Indiana (I picked a random county) into the healthcare.gov site and found plans for a (random) family of four (two adults aged 25, two kids aged 5) with a $1500 family deductible for $1395 per month which includes dental for both kids.

    Indiana has a very limited number of plans to choose from (18) compared to Arizona (111). So I’m guessing the issue is with your state more than anything, combined with you are a family of 4 with an income that’s must be at least $94,500 (in order to make you ineligible for any kind of subsidy.) I’ll agree that $1395 for a family of 4 is a lot of money, but at least you would be eligible for coverage if you needed it.

    1. OH MY GOD- Do you mean that I could get health insurance for my family for the LOW LOW price of $1395 per month? WHAT A STEAL! I’ll get right on that.

      Do you realize how ridiculous you sound when you pretend that $1,395 per month for health insurance with any sort of deductible is some kind of hot deal? Seriously, people. Give. It. Up.

      I live in Hamilton County and prices were similar. It seems like I remember seeing a plan with a 2K deductible for a little over $1,400. And yes, I did look at every plan! Bronze plans are the cheapest though BTW. I shopped for plans on healthcare.gov, off the exchange, and with two independent brokers- one that sold individual plans and another that sold business plans. The least expensive plan available was almost $800 per month for 2014- it didn’t matter where you bought it.

      But don’t delude yourself into thinking prices will go down. Rate increases for Indiana were reported to be in the 9-46% area, so even on the low end, I’m looking at a huge increase. And yes, I know how the subsidies work. I’ve researched this topic thoroughly and written several popular articles on the subject. We make more than 94K because we both work for a living, and I don’t want a subsidy anyway (thank you very much).

      This law is a trainwreck. Please stop defending it. $1,395 for a $1,500 deductible. PSSSHHHH…..that’s more than my minimum mortgage payment and how much we spend on groceries combined!

      And what does blaming my state solve? Who cares whose fault it is at this point anyway? I know one thing- democrats are the only members of Congress who voted for this law. You can’t turn around the blame states that don’t want to be complicit in this mess, after-the-fact.

      Seriously. This is not a case of user error- I’m fully aware of how the law, plans, and subsidies work. LOL, though. Thanks for the laugh.

  33. (Gah I need an edit button. That should be two adults aged 35.)

  34. I hear you Holly. But god forbid you or anyone in your family got Cancer or got into some catastrophic accident, that $12k deductible would gone in two days. The number one reason for bankruptcy in this country is unforeseen medical bills. What then. I wish you luck. It a tough place to be.

    1. That’s why we’re signing up for a healthcare sharing ministry. For $449 per month, we’ll get one million dollars of coverage per illness after meeting a $1,500 annual out-of-pocket. I don’t think I would be brave enough to go entirely without coverage. I have too much to lose.

  35. Too gob smacked to say anything. Wow. Doesn’t sound like affordable health care to me.

  36. I don’t understand how more people aren’t outraged by this. It’s crazy.

    I also don’t understand how it got to this state: as a civilized, first-world country, surely education and affordable healthcare are supposed to be rights, aren’t they? How can it be so expensive there and so cheap (relatively) in the UK and Europe?

    1. No one cares because they think anyone who makes more than 94K (and doesn’t get subsidies) is filthy rich!

  37. Stop the madness! Up here in Canada you could walk into a hospital half-dead and not pay one penny for care. You may have to wait a while but thats another matter. I feel like we have enough expenses in our budget right now and I can’t imagine having to budget even more for insurance. Maybe we pay for that through higher taxes 🙂

    1. Christian says:

      Valid points. I pay $900 a month for my wife and I, with a fairly high deductible. This has nothing to do with ACA (paid $800 before ACA), but the fact that medicine is a profit center for all of the companies involved. The Canadian system is better, because it’s paid for up front, without companies all along the way trying to increase profits at a direct cost to the consumer. Every first world country except us has nationalized health care, yet we spend gobs more money per patient. Even our government should see that we’re getting it wrong.

  38. Hah! I don’t think that’s considered a healthcare!

    They might instead give a person a sudden heart attack because of this.

    It’s a lot of hard-earned money from hard-working people that they’re trying to rip-off. SO SAD

    1. I agree with you. Is is better to use generic prescription drugs whenever possible, and compare prices between pharmacies. Less expensive options are sometimes available at large chain pharmacies.

  39. I am sorry but the only ones who have benefited and are doing well is the insurance companies, there is a huge deductible with the insurance being offered and those who are on Medicare are now having to pay for services that at one time was covered completely, the ones losing are the middle class, as usual!

  40. Holly, those numbers are shocking indeed! Makes me very glad to be Canadian and to be living in a country with free healthcare. Watched the 60 Minutes piece on cancer drug cost a few days ago and again was shocked at what Americans are paying for cancer and other drugs. Its sad that a lot of people can’t afford to buy the drugs that will keep them alive and that many doctors in the US are paid commissions by the drug companies for prescribing these astronomically inflated cost drugs.

    1. OMG, I watched that 60 minutes too. Doctors were buying $11,000 in cancer drugs for $6,000 then reselling them to their patients for full price. Then billing insurance as if they had paid full price for it themselves. Craziness! No wonder it is all so expensive!

  41. We are due to receive our letter anytime about what our policy will be going forward. Like you I’m not looking forward to that.

    The idea of being without health insurance is a scary proposition. (Perhaps that what the government intended…to produce some fear so we would turn to government to solve our problems, but I digress.) Even though the premiums will be staggering I think many people will pay for them because they don’t want to look into alternatives or can’t afford to cover themselves from their own pockets if they have catastrophic medical expenses. I’ll look at options but will probably pay no matter the premium simply because I don’t want an extended medical issue to bankrupt me. I do want to learn more about the sharing ministry…I’ve heard a few commercials about that and it sounds interesting.

  42. Eesh, I’m so sorry to hear things are that crazy. I’m actually a supporter of Obamacare, but clearly it has some huge problems. (Without ranting too much, this is what happens when the government tries to make a compromise between a single-payer system and capitalism.)

    The one thing I wonder if you’ve considered… How much is at least catastrophic coverage? I know you’re *probably* fine with the healthcare ministry, but I was perfectly healthy when I was 19. Until I ended up with a rare neurological disease, which put me in the hospital for 3 months.

    The insurance company paid so much that I used up my maximum benefits on my dad’s plan and had to switch to my mom’s. One of my doctor’s bills — one of three at that particular hospital, and I was at three different ones — was $70,000. That didn’t include my PT, OT, respiratory care, the room itself, food or drugs.

    On the off-chance something like this happened (and yes, it’s a long shot obviously), I can’t imagine that a healthcare ministry would be able to shoulder that burden.

    As you said, you feel this is right, so I won’t argue that. But maybe at least consider a safety net? Up to you, obviously.

    1. Unfortunately, the $900 per month is for the least expensive plan possible. There are no unicorn cheap and affordable plans out there. Since ACA plans now have to cover maternity, mental health, sex changes, etc., the prices have skyrocketed. Believe me, if there were any type of cheaper option, I would have found it! $900 per month is for a plan with a $12,000 deductible!

      I don’t think its worth paying $900 per month for a plan with a 12K deductible on the offchance that I get some illness that costs more than a million dollars. And even if I did, I could always sign up for Obamacare during the 3-month annual open enrollment period.

  43. I can’t wait to hear your whining when you have a $100,000 bill and your new sharing decides not to pay…..

    1. So you hope I get sick? That’s an awful thing to say. Tisk, tisk!

      1. Definitely don’t want you (or anyone) to get sick. I think the ones you should be complaining to are Greg’s employers…..they “should” be providing reasonable cost health insurance. And, if they don’t, they should pay him enough where he can afford to pay $12,000 to buy insurance on the open market…that is part of what a quality employer does for its employees. Otherwise, he should look for a different job.

        1. I don’t disagree with you that it sucks, but that’s just how the mortuary business is. Most funeral homes and mortuaries are small businesses with just a handful of employees. With post-ACA prices, many small businesses (including funeral homes) can’t afford to offer coverage to their employees. He would most likely have to switch industries entirely to get group coverage. And if he did that, a pay cut would be likely as well. Unfortunately, we are stuck in this position unless he switches industries or I get a “real job.” I don’t see either of those things happening either time soon- our current jobs are too lucrative.

  44. That’s nuts! $897 per month more than the minimum payment on your mortgage? I knew it would be bad, but now that I’m seeing all of these real stories, it’s actually worse than I thought. I agree, it’s extortion!

  45. First off, just to be transparent (and I think I’m supposed to say), I work for a health insurance company but these are my words alone and I am not speaking on behalf of them.

    One issue with the ACA is that it tries to fix a problem – people who are not employed by company’s that offer health insurance are routinely denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions. This was fixed with the ACA, no doubt. It didn’t fix the affordability issue. Most people don’t realize just how much employers contribute towards health insurance plans. I don’t have hard facts, but I think I’ve read somewhere that it can be 2/3 or more of the cost. Translate that to self-employed people and you lose that 2/3. I mean, a 4k deductible isn’t amazing but it’s comparable to plans that you’d get if you got insurance through an employer. The ACA kind of botched this part of the issue and “punted” it down the road for someone else to figure out.

    I hate to say this but I do worry about you guys without insurance. I have countless stories and examples I can share with you, but one that stood out is Peter of Bible Money Matter’s wife. She got an infection in her leg, something that you absolutely couldn’t prevent or predict. Health insurance covered the $250k plus bill they received (of course after deductible, but still they covered over 95% of the costs even if they had a high deductible).

    I don’t really know what to tell you because I know the plan isn’t “cheap”, but I also think you’re risking a WHOLE lot by foregoing insurance.

    1. We aren’t! We are joining a healthcare sharing ministry- paying $449 per month for coverage that takes care of $1 million per illness! I would never go without any type of coverage.

      1. Thanks for all of the info here, we are a family of five and renewal in California went up by 1025.00 with a deductible of 12.000 what a shame for those who created this monster and then freed themselves from having to be on the same plans. Hope something good happens once the new President is active.
        Will be considering in to signing on this share-care program, if no changes are made in the next couple months.

  46. Good for you Holly! I am rather fortunate in that my employer pays for my health insurance (I am single). However, my deductible has jumped from a modest 3200 last year, to 6500 this year. Even at that level the plan is not HSA-eligible. So, rather than get my knickers in a twist, I am putting that 6500 into a high yield account (if you can call 3.25% “high yield”) and I will let it sit there. If the deductible goes up, well, I will add to it. Better than having an FSA, where at the end of the year, the insurer keeps all the money I didn’t spend on healthcare.

  47. I find it sad that Republican-controlled states are making sure that Obamacare sucks and prices are sky high while Democrat-controlled states are seeing price drops. The polarization of our country makes me sick. That doesn’t mean that I’m for socialized medicine….it means that I think the reason your plan sucks is because you live in Indiana and they really, really want you to hate it.

    Mission accomplished.

    Funny story: did you see the Kentucky study about their state’s version of Obamacare vs. the word “Obamacare?” People reported that they loved their state’s program. Most had no clue that it was just their rollout of the plan they all said they hated.

    We’re so dumb…..so, so dumb…..

  48. Holly, it’s a crazy system with multiple problems and I share your frustration.

    As a young healthy male I had an individual health insurance plan before Obamacare. Now through the exchange I pay 40% more in premiums, for a 50% reduction in benefits. Like you, I feel cheated and ripped off.

    Plus, what isn’t talked a lot about is the limited amount of Doctors who take coverage through the exchange and just overall administrative ignorance.

    But, I am grateful to offset premiums for those older than me … right …

    All your concerns are valid, when it comes to not being covered. I’m very interested to hear how your Health Ministry experience goes as I find this current system inefficient and ineffective on many levels.

  49. HOLY CRAP THAT IS EXPENSIVE! I’m fortunate that my employer covers my health insurance, but I would love to hear about your experience with the health care sharing ministry!

  50. My boyfriend is a single father of two children. He owns his own business and on paper makes just under $100,000 a year. What isn’t taken into consideration is that after he pays taxes and employees he brings home less than $60,000. He has been quoted $846 per month with a $10,500 deductible and he almost never needs to go to the doctor at all, and well checkups are easily enough paid for out of pocket for the kids. This all has to be paid before he can take advantage of his $40 copay/30% coverage.

    It is cheaper for him to pay for everything out of pocket, but of course needs some sort of insurance for possible emergencies. And paying over $20,000 a year just to be able to get that is absolutely ludicrous. Just after paying for insurance he drops down to less than $40,000 income to support his family. Oh, and this is with a very nice little $96 tax credit.

    1. I have heard similar stories so many times. Question: Why does the money your boyfriend pays his employees count as his salary? Also, has he considered a health care sharing ministry? That’s what we are doing instead of paying $897 per month for a $12,000 deductible.

  51. I have a better question. Why are you asking me to pay something I cannot afford?

  52. Holly,

    I have been thinking about this for next year’s taxes, and I think you are in a similar boat as I am. Self employed, using an alternative plan for Obamacare. So this means we will lose the opportunity to 1) Use Self Employed Health Insurance Tax deduction and 2) Lose HSA deposits as a tax-deduction.

    I don’t like losing deductions especially the HSA. The Obamacare I can live with because I am likely saving the equivalent of any tax deduction they are giving me…but that does not mean I wanna give that money over to be taxed. I mean I am a good person but I don’t believe in giving away money out of the goodness of my heart to taxes to be used as some politician sees necessary.

    My question is what options do I have to gain a couple of other deductions? We have a Roth IRA, should I be looking into a regular IRA or something?

    1. First of all, check with your accountant to see if you can deduct your health sharing premiums. I have spoken to three- two say you can deduct them as a business expense. I plan to deduct our premiums for 2015.

      I have a SEP IRA through Vanguard. You could look into that. Your contributions are deductible on your taxes now so that can really help. I have maxed mine out the last few years and it makes a huge difference. Side note: I did hate losing the ability to contribute to an HSA!

      1. Thanks. I will look into the SEP IRA.

        It is my understanding, from Medi-Share, that I won’t be able to deduct the premiums but I would be able to deduct any actual medical expenses I would pay out.

        I read in another online post the Medi-Share is working with Congress on a bill to allow it as an HSA. I only saw this in a post with no other info. I will leave the link below but feel free to delete it if you feel it should be 🙂 I am not affiliated with this blogger I randomly found it on the ‘net.

        http://ptmoney.com/medishare-review/

        1. I would love if it they let us use an HSA. I miss mine =(

          But still- you should check back to see about deducting your premiums before you do your 2015 taxes. I’m deducting my premiums for Liberty Healthshare as a business expense and I know two accountants who are doing the same. There is a lot of gray area there. And I have read that Medishare review- will leave the link up. I know PT Money!!!

  53. We are in the same boat. husband lost job, lost healthcare. he found new job but they do not provide insurance. Before job loss, our son , who is 23, was on our policy and could stay til 26. But when we lost insurance, we could not put him back on our new insurance because he is not a student. We are a family of 5 and my husband brings in 85,000 a year. Our premiums are $1,100 a WEEK! that is $4,400 a month (unless there are 5 Wednesday then it is more). no co-pays,,,sounds good??? NOT. They pay zilch until we pay out of pocket $5,000 EACH. my 8 yr old had a kidney stone and we had to pay out of pocket for doctor visit, lab work, and prescriptions. I have not been able to get my insulin and needles because we can not afford to pay out pocket, prescriptions have expired but we can not afford to pay upfront to see a doctor to get them renewed. The $1,100 a week could be spent to see doctors, medications, etc. and we would probably have money leftover. AT this rate, won’t be able to afford our funerals.

    1. Same issue here with my fiance’. He lost his job and insurance last year. Took a new job for a pay cut and no insurance. He is currently paying something like $239 a month for a bronze plan and went for a well visit for free. They referred him to a specialist for a sleep apnea study and the co-pay was $50. Then he got a bill that said the insurance company paid $109 and he owed a balance of $165. This was just to meet the specialist. Yesterday he got a letter from the insurance company saying the don’t cover sleep apnea? WTH??

  54. Obamacare (and the way the law was passed) makes me sick.

    As my hubby observed “Obama has never signed the front of a paycheck.” He knows NOTHING about how to run a corner fruit stand, much less a country.

    Do you think we have any chance of it being repealed with the June Supreme Court decision?

    ~darlene

  55. We have a similar situation — a $900 health insurance quote for a family of three– except for the difference that we CAN’T afford it. We’re not CHOOSING to be without insurance. We can’t pay the premium! Our household income is just over $60,000. Our mortgage is $1100 (modest and deteriorating overpriced house, cheap for the market). If we pay $900 for insurance with a $10,500 deductible, not only will we never get to use it, but we absolutely cannot afford it. This isn’t just a choice for us. After you deduct taxes, mortgage, car insurance, utilities (also overpriced in our area), food and basics, plus school loans, we don’t have the money left for something this expensive. I agree, this is a huge rip-off that has been perpetrated on the American public, especially the middle class. I think they did this on purpose, so they could turn around and say, “See? A government plan isn’t any good! Let’s get the government completely out of health care!” But the fact is, they didn’t even TRY a government plan, which would be a single-payer system similar to Medicare, with no middle man and no high-paid insurance executives. This is because people are more concerned about lapsing into socialism than they are about providing economical health care to the middle class. We need to get the insurance companies out of this equation, and provide universal healthcare for all.

  56. Carol Shih says:

    I am slow – I’ve been paying $610 month for private insurance with a $6090 deductible and 40% coinsurance AFTER deductible with NO coverage for emergency care, hospital care, or surgery from the Kaiser Permante Bronze Plan in Washington selected through the Healthplanfinder of WA. Why? So I can invest in a High Deductible Health Plan to invest “tax-free” money in Health Savings account. What a joke! It’s gone nothing but downhill since I Obamacare was forced on us. Thank you for expressing what I had a hard time coming to realize – this is extortion. Like you, this will be the first time in my life I’ll be without health insurance (age 55). What’s worse, I’ve never been able to take any tax credits for premiums paid either.

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