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ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Posted by nikoleta (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 12:17

Toward the end of Thread One, Lionheart made some very interesting observations.

Posted by lionheart z5 NY (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 14:25

Unless you're mostly subsidized, the exchanges are not a very good option. You mostly get a choice of HMOs with a limited provider list. You will only be able to use the providers on the list. Depending on the plan, a number of local doctors, urgent care centers, and hospitals are not accessible. You may or may not be able to go to your previous providers.

Plus, you have to pay 30% out of pocket costs for a silver plan, and 40% out of pocket costs for a bronze plan. That's after your deductibles, which can be another $2000 or more out of pocket if you make $28k per year.

Catastrophic plans are not subsidized, and not much cheaper than bronze of silver plans. Or, you can get a gold or platinum plan if you have more disposable income. But why would you? - the benefits and options are really narrow. You would be better off going away from the exchanges if you don't have a subsidy, and get a better policy for the same or a little more money.

This is by design. The exchanges offer comparatively crappy plans, with insurers hoping that you will come to them directly to get a better plan off of the exchanges. You won't get your subsidy, but unless you are really poor the subsidies aren't enough anyway.

Spending 10%, 20%, or more of your take-home income on premiums, deductibles, and co-pays is a good deal for people who are sick with a catastrophic illness, but not for people who are healthy.

This cuts into their disposable income - which isn't much around here after paying for rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and transportation. If you're bringing home less than $30k per year and living on your own, you are not living the high life.

I know my own 26-year-old daughter is going to sit this year out, unless she gets a job where the employer provides insurance. The preliminary numbers, as of last week, are not affordable and she does qualify for a subsidy. We have been playing around with the numbers for the last several weeks.

Right now she works in a 5-person shop and there is no employer subsidized insurance. She lives on her own and has a very tight budget, drives an old car, is trying to figure out how she is going to afford any non wood-based heat this year, if it comes to that. It's not like she has a lot to spare after all of the taxes she already pays. There's not much room for another $250-$300 per month for subsidized health insurance that doesn't cover much and doesn't let her go to her current providers.

As a practical matter, the subsidies offered aren't enough to bring in the young and/or healthy, who really don't gain much from being in the exchanges, but lose much of their disposable income that is used for living expenses.

Not offering enough subsidies to hook people in was a strategic error.

They are better off taking the penalty, which can only be assessed if the IRS owes you a refund anyway. So retool your deductions so that you end up owing the IRS a small amount, and skate through for a year or so.

There is nothing "affordable" here unless you are so poor that you are getting generous subsidies. It will be interesting to see how it plays out."
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The final post in Thread One was from Dockside, who asked a question as that thread reached its limit. So I'm posting the question here for Lionheart or anybody else who would like to respond:

Dockside asked: "And what happens to any of these young and/or healthy when they suffer a catastrophic accident or get MS or some other chronic, debilitating disease? I guess they can then apply for ACA coverage. This is when I cry "personal responsibility". There should be at least a waiting period of 6 months to a year for coverage for anyone who declines coverage and then applies and expects their condition to be covered under the ACA. People might then be inclined to determine whether it's worth it to pay a fine.

We buy auto insurance even tho' we don't expect we'll be in an accident. We insure our homes and property even though we don't expect that our homes will burn down or suffer other loss. So, why should we take a chance on our health? A chronic illness or bad accident could cost many times as much as a house that needs to be rebuilt.

Catastrophic care for the young and healthy makes sense."


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

And just exactly how do you think every American can afford to insure every aspect of their lives like that?

How are the many low income earners expected to pay all these separate and high priced monthly bills to insure their homes, their autos, their health and lives? Where does the break come in?

Just because it's no sweat for someone of wealth to shell out a few thou each month doesn't mean that everyone in America can do that same thing with anything resembling ease.

You're just afraid that "Obamacare" will actually work...


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

From the onset, it was stated that you bought into the insurance programs/exchanges during the "open season". Fail to do that and get sick or injured, you're not insured and SOL until the next enrollment period rolls around. Won't absolve one of any medical expense incurred prior to being insured, of course. But that's one of the prices paid for not having insurance.

That's fair enough. Stupid on the part of anyone who can afford health insurance but opts to forgo it somehow believing they're immortal.

At no time ever was insurance available AFTER your car was totaled, your house burned down - or up until now had a preexisting condition.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

It's not like she has a lot to spare after all of the taxes she already pays

Just out of curiosity - what other taxes does she pay? It doesn't sound like she makes enough to have to pay a whole lot of federal taxes.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 13:24

If that daughter is as strapped as you say she is, her premiums would be nowhere near that high.

And, of course, companies are opting out of the healthcare business now that there is a real alternative. I expected that and, as an older woman with years of work ahead of me, am very, very glad to see it coming about. The deck's stacked high enough without employers worrying about what my healthcare might do to their premium costs.

A historic view of all this would help. American presidents, Republican and Democrat, have felt we needed a national health insurance program for over a century now, starting with Teddy Roosevelt.

For all the fussing as this big change takes place, it's now, finally the law of the land. There is NO chance the government will (could) defund, much less repeal, it and very soon people will be no more willing to give it up than they'd give up Social Security.

Did you know that the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents' plans is already well known and extremely popular? More Republican families than Democrat are actually taking advantage of this.

Since 2010 insurance companies have not been able to cancel coverage for sick children. This is also well liked. (Imagine!)

Also, people all across the nation have stopped lying in bed at night worrying what would happen when their coverage limits for their cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, you name it, ran out. As of 2010 under Obamacare, there is NO lifetime limit.

This sort of thing is the reason real passion for opposing has dwindled so badly and why opponents have become increasingly desperate. Word gets around. People may still be confused, still worry what all this means, but the balance has shifted and both knowledge and confusion are working against those who would take it away.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

From the onset, it was stated that you bought into the insurance programs/exchanges during the "open season". Fail to do that and get sick or injured, you're not insured and SOL until the next enrollment period rolls around.

And when the next enrollment period rolls around, if that person is still working and sees a lifetime of medical bills ahead of him/her, you can bet your first-born that that person will enroll. So much for then saying it's not affordable.

I am saying this as someone who has had health insurance since age 18, even tho' I lived on very little, was married, and had my first child at age 19.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

My understanding is that you can only take advantage of the subsidies and the exchange rates during the signup period.

However, if somewhere during the year, you suddenly become uninsured for what ever reason - fired, out-grew your parents policy, graduated from college, etc. - you can still buy insurance. Just not through the exchanges.

The question is - do they then just go ahead and cover pre-existing conditions, or will they do as now - refuse to cover any associated costs of that pre-condition for 6 months or a year or what ever?


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Lifetime of medical bills ahead of them...

jogs my mind.

There is no time when medical bills don't have the possibility of being incurred. Sure, some are harder times than others, pregnancies (think preeclampsia, and other problematic pregnancies) can be as expensive as long term illnesses for instance, and mid-life might find only nominal times of poor health, but there is no time one doesn't need coverage. Everyone should enroll. You will have your turn. It's time to have everybody's help.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

single payer....


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

As of Jan. 1, 2014 a person cannot be denied for a preexisting condition. This is true even if you've been denied coverage before. The only exception is for grandfathered individual health insurance plans--the kind you buy yourself, not through an employer. They do not have to cover pre-existing conditions.

However, if you have one of these plans you can switch to a Marketplace plan during the open enrollment period and have coverage for your pre-existing conditions.

In wading through all this - for my own edification as I have Medicare Parts A & B as well as retirement benefit health care - I'm discovering the very human, yet infinite, capacity to ponder the "what ifs".

Seems if one needs insurance after enrolling in October and before it kicks in in January 2014, the Marketplaces will assist in finding short term coverage if felt necessary ... at non bargain rates, I'm sure. This would also be the option for the suddenly uninsured as david asks. If this should happen after the open enrollment period closes, you can't be denied coverage on the open market... but again at possibly exorbitant rates. Then your best move would be to get on the bandwagon tout suite during the next open enrollment period.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

The Atlanta paper says they are dedicating this week to helping people understand the Affordable Care Act and what it means to them.They will have special coverage every day this week.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

There should have been a real media blitz back from the get go. And it should have been explained in the most minute detail in the simplest of terms. The drips and drabs approach just doesn't work.

The hedge funds, institutional clients, and other Wall Streeters are predicting a modest initial sign up - maybe 4 million in contrast with the CBO's projection of 7 million. The CBO projection includes 4 million previously uninsured people signing up and 3 million enrollees who had been covered through either employer or individual plans switching over.

Wall Street's main concern is the program not being ready and the glitches that will surely occur.

Wall Street notwithstanding, I don't understand anyone not giving this program even provisional assent. It's likely to work, both for those needing insurance and to make the nay sayers look foolish.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Rob, I agree wholeheartedly. Prior to the ACA, however, it was not possible for everyone to be able get coverage. Now it is and there is no excuse for "opting out", IMO.

I wrote in a thread a few months ago about a young man who worked as a temporary employee for Microsoft and didn't get company-supplied medical insurance because he wasn't a Microsoft employee but was very well paid. He opted to not get insurance, even tho' he could afford it because he was young and probably thought he was invincible. Wrong. He either came down with some debilitating disease or was terribly injured in an accident (I don't remember which) and could no longer work and the newspaper article about him featured him feeling sorry for himself. Well, he can feel sorry for himself but I won't feel sorry for him. But, I would feel sorry for someone who had insurance and was dropped, or lost their job and couldn't afford the COBRA (rarely can anyone afford it if they don't have an on-going income). The ACA, as far as I understand it, is designed so that everyone will be able to get coverage. And, if someone elects to "opt out" and later is financially destroyed, I would join the chorus of not being personally responsible for their choice.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

" There's not much room for another $250-$300 per month for subsidized health insurance that doesn't cover much and doesn't let her go to her current providers."

Your daughter wants insurance....at a great price AND go to her current providers.

Got it.

According to BCBSNC, a 26 yr old female has a choice of 11 of their plans ranging from about $50-$260 per month.

If i want a Cadillac health insurance policy, I SHOULD expect to pay for it.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"There should have been a real media blitz back from the get go. And it should have been explained in the most minute detail in the simplest of terms."

No, there should have been ongoing "open negotiations" on C-span. Just like the president promised. Everybody would have a seat at the table. Nobody, he promised, would be able to "buy up all the seats." And of course liberals here believed every word he said.

But Nancy Pelosi let the cat out the bag when she let us in on the REAL plan: "We have to pass the bill so you can see what is in it."


Here is a link that might be useful: Public left out


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Exactly dock. Time to overcome that mindset. Everyone should be putting in, so everyone can take out during their turn. It'd make the overall insurance pool healthier and easier financial burden on those putting in. Win-win!


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

snip -

Right now, a number of conservative groups, with financial backing from well-heeled fellow travelers like Charles and David Koch, are engaged in a campaign to convince young, uninsured people not to enroll in Obamacare - to remain uninsured rather than enter and strengthen the state-based health insurance markets the Affordable Care Act is building.

snip

If you read my original article, you already know I was shot three times in the early morning hours of July 2, 2008. What you didn’t know is that I’d put my first insurance check in the mail on the evening of July 1, 2008.

Back in 2008, I was pretty new to journalism. I had a decent job, and crucially the first one I’d been offered since I’d graduated college that agreed to pay part of my insurance premiums. But I was working on a contract. I wasn’t on a group plan. On top of my monthly salary, my employers would send me extra money to pay my monthly premiums.

I know from that, and from previous experiences, how frustrating the existing individual insurance market can be. Even a highly regulated one like Washington, D.C.’s. Before that job, I’d been insured in D.C.’s market once before, with a really lousy high deductible plan. Like most young people I rarely needed it, but when I did, it didn’t seem to cover much, and appealing charges was a significantly less rewarding experience than getting cable installed or fighting traffic tickets in court.

When I got that job, I tried enrolling in a new plan, but for some reason - perhaps because I hadn’t kept continuous coverage - I was rejected. Over my father’s pleading, I allowed these frustrations to deter me from applying for a different plan. I pocketed the supplemental check each month for several months before his persistence wore me out and I fired up ehealthinsurance.com. Fortunately, D.C. required one of the major insurers operating in the area to offer a guaranteed issue plan, which meant they couldn’t reject my application. It also meant that I’d only be eligible for, or be able to afford, a high deductible plan once again. A few weeks after applying, Blue Cross sent me my plastic insurance cards and my first bill. I don’t recall what day that bill was due, but I do recall that I was an enormously irresponsible young adult and an inveterate procrastinator, so I’m quite confident that I held on to that bill for a while.

On July 1 - I must’ve just received my paycheck - I bussed up to Cleveland Park, a quiet neighborhood in Northwest D.C., to meet my sister and brother-in-law for a celebratory dinner. They had just moved back to Washington after many years, and this was the first time she and I would be living in the same city. I met them at their new condo, with an envelope in my back pocket, we walked south down Connecticut Ave toward the restaurant, but before we reached our destination, I dropped the envelope into a corner mailbox.

Six hours later two EMTs wheeled me into a trauma center.

My medical bills totaled about $200,000, mostly attributable to major surgery and a 10-day hospital stay. My deductible more than cleared out my bank account, but in the end, my insurer paid almost every other penny, and saved me from bankruptcy or a lifetime of debt. For $200,000 you can buy an Ivy League education, a home, a law degree, a secure retirement or a splenectomy. But there’s no equity, dividend or residual value in a splenectomy. snip

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

What I don't get is why anyone wouldn't want to get in on something they could afford... finally!

I think the GOP and lemming followers are just afraid Obamacare might actually work!


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I sincerely hope that Obamacare works. I am quite frankly nervous about the unintended consequences and broken promises. We are starting to see both from people losing full time work and others not being able to keep their doctors and insurance plans that they liked.

The bill is filled with opportunities for people to make money helping small businesses deal with the complexities of compliance and the tax issues.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I think a look at "the bigger picture" is in order. Health care costs are skyrocketing not only here but around the world. In the US, health insurance premiums have been trotting along at an average of 10+% annual increases for the past 12ish years. Companies, particularly the smaller ones, have been cutting or dropping health benefits for the same 12 years, and arguably, the huge increases in productivity that have not been translated into salaries have been translated into increased health care benefits. And, of course, the number of uninsured people is sky-rocketing because of the above.

IOW, if it wasn't a train wreck already, it was certainly teetering around the edges.

And lets keep in mind that this in the USofA, where Congress and the President serve at the pleasure of corporate America, where our health system is held hostage by vast, for-profit insurance companies, where our gvt is unable to negotiate prices because the pharmaceutical and medical supply companies pay such lavish campaign contributions that our their congress made it illegal to do so, and that instituting something like single payer would involve a revolution where the heads of insurance company CEO's would be trotted around on pikes. IOW, it won't happen. Actually, the opposite happened, they were able to convince their Congress that Medicare Plus - where the Gvt pays them 10% more, is the way to go, and of course, with Obamacare, they end up with lots more clients with subsidized and guaranteed premiums. For which they agreed to limit themselves to a vig of 15-20%.

Repeal Obamacare and what happens? Its still a train wreck, with a lot more uninsured people than ever.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

David, I think Obamacare is a trainwreck waiting to happen. But our old system was a trainwreck in progress.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Perhaps it will be a train wreck, but there is no logical reason to deny anyone health insurance just because they don't have a job. That is just patently unfair.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

We have the wherewithal to implement a system not unlike Canada's... why we won't do so is beyond me.

I mean, I know why we won't do so... but it still remains beyond me. I just don't comprehend the abject greed and gluttony and the moral bankruptcy involved in today's industry...


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

what bugs me the most in all of this?

If HIPAA didn't cure the HUGE uninsured issue, why would legislation cure problems now? I am not as familiar with how this will work out, but HIPAA made it clear from the outset, it only imposed the guaranteed issue policies for groups, not indivduals. You have to be employed to be part of a group. Right? So who was it that was unisured in the first place? And obviously, they didn't suddenly become part of a group; they stayed indivdiuals. It fixed nothing. So why will problems get fixed now? The government has no clue how to do it.

Sky rocketing costs are the biggest problem. Combine that with a large aging population and we're headed for bankruptcy as a nation. Let's just keep our heads in the sand, it's so much warmer and cozier than stark realities.


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While I have many concerns about implementing single payer here, I really think that it would be best for everyone. I do not want to see a single payer system set up like any HMO I've ever had anything to do with.

Based on what I've read, Obamacare is a deeply flawed bill. I am only half joking when I say that I believe it was written in a way to make the health care system implode so single payer is the only way out.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Aren't the exchanges basically the same as groups? Except that now individuals can join and be part of a group without being penalized for being an individual. Individuals could buy individual policies before ACA but with NO break on the premiums which were ridiculously high.

This is what I am curious about. With all the scamming that is going on now in the health insurance and health care industry, what are these scammers going to do when they can't screw the patient anymore? It will affect their bottom line.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I think the GOP is going to be very sorry they started calling this ObamaCare. LOL

Polls today show that, between them, the vast majority of Americans either approve of this plan or want it to go further...to single payer.

There will be rocky roads getting this going, There were bumps with Medicare too.

I saw my internist for a pre-op exam Monday. (The hospital where I'll have my cataract surgeries insists on this profitable but totally unnecessary exam.)

My doctor had attended a meeting about the ACA that morning. I asked if he thought he'd be seeing a younger caseload due to the act. He hoped he would not be having to treat many of the 700,000 Illinois residents who are getting insurance for the first time. Think of all the longstanding never-treated health issues!

He wondered where these -- mostly inner city and rural -- people would find doctors. Some rural folks are two hours' drive from even a pharmacy.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Anthem has offered us an early renewal to keep our premium and benefits the same throughout 2014. Our regular renewal is September, but we are able to renew on December 31, 2013 to keep what we have.

We will do that and save money. Plus our benefits are much more protective than any damn Bronze plan at the same price. And who wants to pay $17,100 per year and still have $12,500 out of pocket? Not us.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I looked at New York's plan, and it would be interesting to know what county Lionheart's daughter lives in and her yearly income. Of course if she was under 26 she could still be on her family's plan- even if she's living on her own.

If she lived here in Berkeley and made 28,000 a year and was only 26 years old, the "Enhanced Silver 73 Plan" would have a yearly deductible of $1,500 and her total out of pocket expenses- for whatever health problems she had- for the year would max out at $5,200.

Her preventative care visits would be free. Primary care visits would be $40 co-pay
Yes there are co-pays, the highest being for an emergency room visit- which is $250.
---------And what would be her monthly payment?
$151 for Blue Shield of Calf., or
$159 for Anthem Blue Cross or
$189 for Kaiser-
That's for a 26 year old living alone and making $28,000 a year.- and that's for an 'enhanced Silver plan)
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If she was making only $24,000 her "enhanced silver" plans would be between $130 to $139 for Kaiser. And the Bronze plans would be between $52-$59 a month!

Better yet, she could buy a "Gold" plan for $146 a month and have NO deductible! and a primary visit co-pay of $30. That is great insurance for a 26 year old at a great price- and that's Obama Care.

Now if you think I'm lying - only a $146 for a Gold Plan for a 26 year old making $24,000 - I'll leave the calculator link- and a Berkeley zip code of 94704- check it out!

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This morning I was talking to a friend of mine, he's 39 years old and pays over $500 a month for his 'catastrophic' insurance- (he's self employed). Last week he cut his finger opening a soda can and the next morning decided it should be looked at. It was on a Saturday so he made the mistake of going to the emergency room- and it cost him over $1,100. That's less than his deductible, so he has to pay it all. (for 3 stitches). I told him he should have gone to another primary care office that was open on a Saturday (he has Blue Shield).

Here is a link that might be useful: link to Covered California Calculator

This post was edited by alexr on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 23:55


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

ObamaRomacare was a noble step that should have been viewed as a compromise and an incremental solution to a complex, enormous problem rather than as an ideological battle ground.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"I looked at New York's plan, and it would be interesting to know what county Lionheart's daughter lives in and her yearly income. Of course if she was under 26 she could still be on her family's plan- even if she's living on her own."

She turned 26 in July. I carried her on my insurance until she aged out.

When I ran her numbers through the website (when it was up and processing on and off), she qualified for a subsidy of $116/month. Perhaps I should have entered adjusted gross income or modified adjusted gross income, but they didn't say that. It just said "enter your annual income". So that's what I did.

None of the websites that I tested have yet explained what figure should be entered.

I don't feel comfortable publishing someone else's personal information, but right now, after taxes and living expenses (no luxuries, no car payments, no cable) I estimated the amount remaining each month is $416.

I know what she makes, I know what her tax bite is, and I know what the cost of living is around here.

Now she would have to take half (or more) of leftover money at the end of the month to pay for premiums. That's nice, but it still isn't done. You've got to look beyond that - in the worst case scenario a person could pay thousands in deductibles and copays. Where is that money coming from, because there isn't any money for that?

Everyone just looks at the premium. That doesn't tell the whole story.

I just don't see this flying with the under 40 crowd. In NYS they have been sold a bill of goods. The devil will be in the details when the details finally come out, but no one should sign up for anything until they look at each plan's rules, how much it will actually cost, which providers are in network, and how far away you have to go to get to a participating provider.

Just in case, I'm going to call around and see what we can get outside of the exchanges. There might be a better deal out there.

Here is a link that might be useful: PDF NYS 2014 Exchange Rates (as of August)


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"in the worst case scenario a person could pay thousands in deductibles and copays. Where is that money coming from"

Yes lion, but where does the money come from when she has something catastrophic happen to her, God forbid? It happened to me. It can happen to a 20something, incredibly fit and healthy person. Sh-t happens. That's the point. One cannot wait until they're sick to want to opt in. It helps no one, not even her. Everyone puts in now, but takes out when they need. Not some put in and everyone takes out at some time. That's not fair or right.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"He wondered where these -- mostly inner city and rural -- people would find doctors. Some rural folks are two hours' drive from even a pharmacy."

Critics have wondered the same thing. If obamacare can't even provide a doctor, how does it provide the health care this population needs?

"Yes lion, but where does the money come from when she has something catastrophic happen to her, God forbid? It happened to me."

Where did the money come from in your case?


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Credit cards nik. And then I worked 70-80 hours a week while a freshman at University (full time student) for years. Hard times!


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"Yes lion, but where does the money come from when she has something catastrophic happen to her, God forbid?"

Probably the same thing that happens now. It doesn't matter if it's $5,000 or $500,000 if you don't have that much money to spare. I suspect it will, like now, not be paid and maybe lead to bankruptcy eventually. Perhaps the speed will be slowed, but no one can keep up with increasingly heavy out-of-pocket costs. If you're chronically ill but still earning an income, that's a big chunk of out-of-pocket costs.

Maybe it's the difference between death by bludgeoning and death by a thousand paper cuts. How do you want your finances to be ruined - fast or slow? :-)

Btw, I appreciate the pleasant tone of your comments. It's such a pleasure to talk with people who can express opinions without attributing all sorts of malicious intent to their "opponents".

Our stakes in these things are very different. There are quite a few things I would have loved to see in this ACA but I think a lot of opportunities were lost to political expediency.

First of all, I'd drop the gimmicky but inaccurate word "affordable". It's not really, especially the farther away you move from poverty level but still don't have a stellar income. Affordability quickly drops as you move away from 100-200% of FPL.

It reminds me of a mother telling a kid to eat the "nice" liver and onions or the "nice" brussel sprouts. Sometimes they add "mmmm...good" to the end of that. That doesn't mean it's nice and tasty. :-)

I have a lot of other suggestions, but they didn't ask me (lol). It's a done deal now and no one asked the end users if they had any ideas.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

If obamacare can't even provide a doctor, how does it provide the health care this population needs?

If a farmer in a rural location gets his hand caught in a combine, what does he do now without Obamacare? Or if he gets a bad case of shingles? Or if he can't get rid of a cough?


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Really nik? I paid mine off in FULL. Why do you think I was working 70+ hours a week and going to school full time? Good thing I was in my twenties.

But when people bankrupt the costs, where do you think they shift the costs?


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Seems most folks are stuck on age 25 and less than 30,000 year. LOL


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

The rural people have had no MD's for decades, and they've had no money to pay for one. With ACA, they will have insurance. Some doctors may follow, or at least nurse-practitioners.

There's a doctor in downstate Illinois who is still practicing (for a pittance) just because he cares about 'his people'. Maybe he can retire; he's about 90. Some communities have created scholarships -- for med students who agree they will come practice in the community.

When 'specialists' don't rake in all the dough -- after a brake on costs -- there may be more GP's and nurse-practitioners. And with more preventive care, there will be less need for the more expensive heroics.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Our UMD medical school specializes in the training of physicians for rural and small-town settings in rural Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Medical School is a combination of two campuses situated in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota.

From Wiki: The Duluth campus, formerly the University of Minnesota Duluth School of Medicine, has approximately 60 students (Mpls about 170 students) enrolled for each of the first two years of medical school. After that point, they are automatically transferred to the Twin Cities campus for their clinical rotations.

The mission of the Duluth Campus is to select and educate students who will likely select Family Medicine/Primary Care and practice in rural locations. Duluth is also a primary site for the Center for American Indian and Minority Health which aims to educate increased numbers of Native American students as medical professionals.

It's been pretty successful in keeping new doctors here in small underserved communities.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I don't live in a rural area but some health care is already in short supply here. My daughter fell over a month ago on a Sunday and thought she broke her hand or wrist. She went to the local doc in a box for an xray. The doc in a box couldn't tell on the xray due to the anatomy of the hand/wrist so they immobilized her hand and referred her to a hand specialist. The appointment with the specialist was on the following Wednesday. The hand specialist took some additional xrays but couldn't tell so he decided she needed a cat scan. It took two weeks to get the cat scan. Five days later she met with the hand doc. The cat scan showed that there were no broken bones in her hand but that she may have ruptured a ligament. So then she was scheduled for an MRI of her hand. It took ten days to get that scheduled. The whole time she has had her wrist immobilized which has created some serious problems for her at work. Her appointment to find out if she did rupture a ligament is this Friday, close to five weeks after her fall. That's absurd!

I've been doing more reading about ACA. I've seen several articles about the differences in how two single people will be affected as opposed to a married couple. It looks like being married is going to result in lower subsidies and higher taxes for married couples.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 13:23

Here's a good Q&A on the ACA from this morning at the Washington Post. Good info and good links, to previous discussions and outside sources.

Here is a link that might be useful: What if I lose my job........................


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

Jhug, that sort of string of delays has been common now for years. The only way to 'bump the queue' is a life-threatening emergency, or some serious schmoozing with the people who make the appointments.

One positive aspect of small down medicine is you know everybody involved - their kids play on the same teams as your kids and thats how you know the appointment person and she'll squeeze you in right before lunch....


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"Really nik? I paid mine off in FULL. Why do you think I was working 70+ hours a week and going to school full time? Good thing I was in my twenties."

Really what? I have no idea what you are talking about. I think your determination to pay your bills by working so many hours, and going to school full time shows you to be a remarkable person. I don't know how you did it! I am sure I could not have kept up the schedule you did. My hat is off to you.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I saw that too, Nik, and I couldn't figure out where Rob was coming from. I figured you would bring it up. I wonder what's up with that post.


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

I saw that too, Nik, and I couldn't figure out where Rob was coming from.

Well it's quite simple.

Rob said this:

Yes lion, but where does the money come from when she has something catastrophic happen to her, God forbid? It happened to me.

Then nik said this:

Where did the money come from in your case?

nik's response, because of its curtness and lack of sympathy, came across as an implication that rob was somehow gaming the system.

This post was edited by jerzeegirl on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 8:59


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RE: ibm retirees losing corporate health plan 2

"nik's response, because of its curtness and lack of sympathy, came across as an implication that rob was somehow gaming the system."

No, Rob replied with a straightforward response to a straightforward question.

Posted by rob333 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 11:06

Credit cards nik. And then I worked 70-80 hours a week while a freshman at University (full time student) for years. Hard times!


The later reply had nothing to do with my question. I'm sure there's a crossed wire here somewhere that Rob will straighten out next time she's here.


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