Yesterday I wrote about young adults and Obamacare. A reader commented, and I wrote a long reply that would be easier to read as a blog post, so here is our exchange.
Do young adults value health insurance? The answer is yes, but it has always been un-affordable and this law makes it drastically worse. I am a healthy young male who could not /can’t afford health insurance, between student loan debts, car payments, rent and an almost maxed out credit card there is no excess to go around, yet I make more than the minimum amount where the govt will provide subsidies. Now that Obamacare has been implemented I find that health insurance prices are almost doubled from what they were previously.
You are blaming Obamacare for something that hasn’t taken place yet under health care reform. Health insurance rate increases to date have little to do with Obamacare. New, higher coverage standards and accepting everyone for coverage doesn’t start until 2014.
I just went to azblue.com and put in age 29 and here’s what I found: If you are 29, right now you could get a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for $75 per month. It has unlimited doctor visits for a co-pay, coverage of preventives services at no co-pay (per Obamacare), and a $10,000 deductible. Choose a $5,000 deductible and you will pay $100 per month.
If you can’t afford $100 per month for health insurance, you might have your priorities mixed up. You say you value health insurance, but (if you are healthy), right now you could find decent, affordable health insurance – if you are healthy.
If things are so affordable right now, should not we bag Obamacare and keep the system we have as the Republican’s suggest? With the prices you quote insurance must be selling like hot cakes in Arizona.
Health insurance is affordable for you because you are a young man and (presumably) healthy. Under the current system, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, you become uninsurable. Does that sound okay to you?
Should you have a car accident and injure your back, when you go to get individual health insurance you will be charged a potentially unaffordable rate AND the insurance company will tell you they will cover you EXCEPT anything to do with your back. Does that sound good to you?
If your sister has health insurance and she is diagnosed with cancer, her insurance company (before Obamacare) could find some obscure health condition from years earlier as an excuse to cancel her coverage – and not pay her cancer treatment bills. Does that sound okay to you?
If your parents have plenty of money saved for retirement and want to retire early (before 65 when they get Medicare), they could afford to follow their dreams. But if your mother was successfully treated for breast cancer in the last eight years, your parents need to keep their jobs and their employer coverage because your mother is uninsurable. Does that sound okay to you?
Let’s say you have a girlfriend and she works for herself and she has health insurance as an individual. First, she is paying $100 more per month than you would for the same coverage. Now let’s say she gets pregnant. Guess what? Her health insurance does not cover pregnancy. That’s how “individual” health insurance works today.
Let’s say you and your girlfriend have the baby (and a very big medical bill). Now let’s say your child is born with a serious illness. Guess what? If you and your girlfriend don’t have insurance, your baby is uninsurable. And before Obamacare (2010) your sick child could have been rejected by your insurance company even if you had health insurance. And if you had a job offer from a small company (before Obamacare) the employer health insurance would cover you, but not your sick child. Do you think that’s okay?
NOTE ON CHILD COVERAGE: If the mother or father of that sick baby already has health insurance (in 2013), the sick child can be added to the policy for a very high cost. In 2014, that child won’t be “rated up”.
The current health insurance system is corrupt, unfair, and costly. Obamacare is far from perfect, but at least it is addressing some of the things that are wrong with the current system. But we can’t allow your mother to get health insurance if you and other young people don’t get in the game. We can’t require insurance companies to cover your sick child if everybody isn’t in the game.
Obamcare (like Romneycare in Massachusetts) is actually a Republican idea based on personal responsibility (with some help from the government). New Gingrich and the American Enterprise Institute were pushing this idea back in the 90′s when Hillary and Bill Clinton wanted to go to a single-payer system. Why are Republicans against it now? And why are they telling you lies about how terrible Obamacare is? And why do you not realize you can get a catastrophic policy right now for $50 per month (if you’re healthy)?
I think you are the victim of a misinformation scam. Do you think that’s okay?