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February 15, 2015

Obamacare follies / open thread [Weirddave]

Today is the last day of open enrollment for Obamacare. I am an insurance agent. This afternoon I got a call from a client with questions about his enrollment. He was on Maryland healthcare website. Talking to him, it seemed that he was right in the sweet spot for Obamacare plans. Based upon his income, he qualified for a subsidized silver plan with a $2500 deductible for $67/month. (All of ya'll who are paying many times that for a much crappier policy because you work for a living are reaching for a sharp object to commit seppuku right now. Hold on, it gets worse, you're going to want to use a dull object instead)

I said he was in the sweet spot, which is a MAGI* of 138-250% of the federal poverty level. that means that he's also eligible for "cost sharing" which will cover 80-95% of his out of pocket costs. Call it 90%, and he's paying $67/month for a plan with a $250 deductible and an out of pocket max of $2250/year (told ya you'd want a dull object). Government employees don't even have plans that generous.

And we're all paying for it. Take a bow, everyone.

So I told him what to do and why and went grocery shopping, and when I got home there was a message on my phone from him saying "I was going through the enrollment and I noticed a "young adult" plan that was only $2/month so I chose that one."

$2/month is cheap, sure, but Bronze level plans are not eligible for cost sharing, so now he has a $6350 deductible to meet before anything except his annual check-up is covered.

Look, you can get a schadenboner if you like, but I'm more bemused than anything. He's a nice young man, and he didn't make the system that exists, but I have to wonder. I'm a professional with almost 20 years experience in the field. I'm helping him out pro bono**(I don't make shit on Obamacare plans. Really, $0), on a Sunday no less, and I told him in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS where he would be best served, and he went and did something else, and now he's screwed. What's the point of consulting an expert if you ignore their advice?

* Modified Adjusted Gross Income

** Why? Because he's been a client for years, predating Obamacare. I tell all of my clients that part of what they get with their policy is me, and I mean it. It didn't cost me anything other than a few minutes phone time to help him, why wouldn't I?

Open thread.

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posted by Open Blogger at 07:16 PM

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