Yesterday President Obama held a national news conference in which he apologized for “fumbling” the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — otherwise known as “Obamacare”.
In addition to his apology, the President suggested a fix for the millions of Americans whose current policies are being canceled by their health insurance carrier.
The Proposed Fix
The proposed fix involves letting people hold on to their non-ACA-compliant health insurance plans for another year, maintaining their current coverage into 2014.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you may find yourself scratching your head wondering — as we did when the news first broke — isn’t this already being done through the insurance carriers’ offers of early renewal?
The answer is YES — in certain states, including right here in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Some states, however, prohibited early renewal from the outset and now must quickly decide how to react to the President’s proposal.
Interestingly, in those states where early renewal was prohibited, the initial reaction is split. Insurance commissioners in some states, for example Washington and Arkansas, have already said no to the proposal, stating that allowing early renewal will undermine the health of the market. Other states, for example California, have recommended the fix go into effect immediately.
For a good explanation of the states’ reactions click here to read an article published in the Atlantic Wire.
Obama Says Insurance is Complicated to Buy
In addition to acknowledging the technological challenges and glitches surrounding the online federal marketplace (healthcare.gov), President Obama said in the news conference, “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.”
Uh … yes, it is!
Purchasing insurance is not as simple as booking an airplane trip or renting a car. The many options and variables are complex and confusing.
Although it is good to hear our President acknowledging this fact, it does kind of make us scratch our heads again. Yes, we know that. That is why brokers like Virginia Medical Plans are here!
What To Do Now?
We are advising our clients in Maryland, Virginia, and DC to stay the course. Carriers in these states have already, for the most part, offered early renewal. We don’t expect that to change.
But if you too have discovered that health insurance is complicated to understand and buy, then please, give us a call. It is what we do and we are good at it! With over 20 years of experience, we can help you select the best available plan for your situation.
Although we are also somewhat at the mercy of the technological glitches of the online federal system, we can at least help you understand your options and determine how to move forward.
Give us a call!
Please be patient as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.
I am 62, employed, make too much money, and have pre-existing conditions. I do not have insurance, have been denied coverage by 2 companies, and at a total loss as to what to do. Under the new guidelines with the cost of insurance, amount of the deductible, and unneeded items I will have to pay for, I cannot afford to buy insurance. It is cheaper for me to pay cash for my medical needs than it is to be insured. The $95 penalty represents a person making $9500.00 a year which is below the poverty line. This information has been very misleading. !% of my income comes to far more than $95. Why would that figure ever apply? I have talked to many people in trying to but insurance. I always end up with someone trying to put me under a “group Plan” that does not qualify under Obama Care with the comment that the premiums are cheaper and I’ll be better off to pay the $95 penalty and the lower cost of the plan they have. They also include (for free) ? Life Insurance. When I ask if it is life insurance or Accidental Death Insurance, they finally say, no, it is not life insurance. Yet another misrepresentation. I would love the opportunity to speak with an honest agent who is capable of providing a product that provides insurance for my needs.
The fact that under OBC I will have to pay for maternity coverage and pediatric dental care. I have no uterus, no ovaries, am 62 years old and I do not need maternity coverage. When my children needed braces (2 at the same time) I went back to work to pay for their dental needs. I did not ask the government or anyone to pay for my children’s care.
Why is it not possible to buy a policy that will cover my basic needs, rate my pre-existing conditions, and not put me in a position where I am unable to pay for my daily needs. Taking on an additional $600 to $800 a month for insurance with the deductibles is not realistic.
If the new health insurance is supposed to cover pre-existing conditions, why is there a morbid obesity rider attached to it????? Is that not discriminating against “fat people”??? Is that legal?????? Did they suddenly gain all the weight overnight???
I can see where this program might work well for the welfare class, but they are already receiving assistance. This looks like a way of forcing people to the welfare system. The poor will have coverage, the medicare class will have coverage and those in between will end up with less than desirable health care/insurance and will pay a penalty if they do not buy it. It matters not if the premiums will put those same people at risk of not being able to pay their monthly commitments.
WITH THE ECONOMY IN THIS COUNTRY IN THE STATE IT IS TODAY, WE AS A COUNTRY CAN IN NO WAY AFFORD THE “UNAFFORDABLE CARE ACT”.
Susan N. A less than happy senior citizen
Jonathan Katz, LUTCF
Thanks very much for your comments Susan. Please call us to review the 2014 options that will be guaranteed acceptance and compliant under the ACA law. Hopefully we can find something that will be helpful! The number is 800-867-0800.