By Audrey Quinn
Posting in Healthcare
When Obama's healthcare overhaul goes into effect in 2014, nearly 6 million uninsured Americans will face a penalty.
With the impending requirement for nearly all Americans to carry health insurance, some penny-pinchers have started getting out their calculators. A number of self-employed and unemployed workers suggest it may be wiser (financially) to continue without health insurance, if the fine for doing so is less than the cost of the insurance.
Congressional analysts released a report yesterday that may cause them to rethink that idea, the Associated Press Reports.
When the next stage of the health care overhaul goes into effect in 2014, they estimate six million Americans will face the non-insured fine. That's up from their estimate of four million in 2010.
The average fine will cost $1,200 annually. That's far less money than the cheapest plan I found for myself as a single adult in New York. That plan would cost me $2700 annually, and considering it's $10,000 deductible, it would basically serve only as emergency coverage.
Personally, I'll probably chose to insure myself by 2014, given my aversion to just giving $1,200 away, and the hope that the healthcare overhaul will bring other cheaper plan options into the arena. And, there's also the upcoming self-insured tax credit to consider. Here's how Kevin Drum of Mother Jones broke things down for a family of four, based on their income, with that subsidy considered:
- Under $30,000, families qualify for Medicaid and pay nothing for insurance.
- Under $37,000 or so, most families can buy a bronze [lower cost] policy for free.
- Between $37,000 and $45,000, the cost of a bronze policy is quite small, and certainly less than paying the fine.
- Above $45,000, the cost of a bronze policy is a bit more than the fine.
- Above $50,000, the cost of a bronze policy is significantly more than the fine, but there aren't very many uninsured families in this category.
Here's what Drum says about people like me:
The numbers work out differently for single people, but singles under 30 also have the option of buying only catastrophic coverage. We don't know yet how much policies like this are going to cost, but certainly substantially less than a bronze policy. For most under-30s, this means they have the option of free or nearly free coverage all the way up to a fairly high income level.
So, there is a chance that buying insurance will still cost me more than paying the fine. But, the impending fine (and possible subsidies) will certainly make the financial case stronger for purchasing my own coverage.
Sep 20, 2012
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Without the public option it stinks. Medicare spends three cents of the healthcare dollar on "administration." Insurers spend forty cents. Medicare does Not have death panels, despite the hateradio lie, but insurers have had them for decades. I worked at Blue Cross long ago and saw the code in an IBM MVS/OS Selective Sort - computers make the decision, not a panel. I've also helped people who were victimized by corrupt insurers. Insurance is America's Largest Organized Criminal Enterprise. So throwing health insurance entirely back to the industry that has wrecked it is a total mistake. The lack of a public option makes the Obama plan sulfurous.
I recently had a neighbor talk to me telling me about his company that employees over a thousand employees. He was told by his owner that full time employees are no longer allowed and only part time employees will be hired. It was stated to him that the company could not financially afford to pay for the insurance for any more full time employees. This means all employees can not work more than 25 hours a week. I will be adding a blog to my website, http://drvanderloop.com/, referring back to your articles so people can realize that health insurance is not going to solve our health problems. With obesity at all time health, diabetes, etc, more insurance is not going to solve this.
It is a tax........ So said the Obama administration in court filings and the Supreme Court agreed. "The controlling opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the mandate as a tax, " http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/supreme-court-health-care-decision_n_1585131.html I would also be concerned those subsidies will not last long once the true costs hits. "Finally, under Obamacare, low- and middle-income Americans who are unable to obtain employer-sponsored insurance will be eligible for federally subsidized coverage through the new health exchanges. According to CBO, 19 million Americans will receive subsidies. But analysis by Holtz-Eakin shows that reliance on the subsidies could increase to as many as 35 million Americans because of the perverse incentives in Obamacare for employers to dump coverage altogether." http://blog.heritage.org/2011/04/06/new-analysis-reveals-obamacare-will-cost-more-than-expected/