Maybe This Is What Scares Them

I know I’m repeating myself, but just to build on this morning’s post, let me share this item out of North Carolina:

One dynamic that analysts are interesting in observing is whether the health exchange serves as a mechanism for encouraging workers to change employers even in a tight job market.

One traditional drawback for employees leaving a job has been concerns about losing health insurance coverage during a transition period or receiving reduced benefits. With the exchange, health insurance would be portable since it is based on 7 percent of an individual’s or a household’s income, and not tied to the employer’s choice of insurer and plan options.

Making health insurance portable is an Obamacare benefit you don’t hear talked about enough, in my opinion. But it’s a chink in the plutocrats’ control over the workforce. It cuts one of the puppeteer’s strings.

It will indeed be fascinating to watch from a social studies perspective. Will people feel freer to pursue their passions, be it at another career or even as an entrepreneur? Will people fee freer to leave their jobs and get new work skills by returning to school?

I predict this portability will be a subtle but over time increasingly important change for American workers. Surely most people will stay at their jobs but, over time, as the realization that this important area of a person’s life is no longer out of their control, the change will be profound.

Millennials have all the luck.

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29 Comments

Filed under employment, health insurance, healthcare

29 responses to “Maybe This Is What Scares Them

  1. OMG, Southern Belle ! I thought I knew a lot about Obamacare ! I didn’t know the benefit was portable. Why isn’t the admin pointing this out?

    • Obamacare makes health insurance portable. You don’t have to tied to your employer-provided plan any more. You have another affordable source.

      I mean, even COBRA was only temporary, on top of being ridiculously expensive. I imagine COBRA will go by the wayside, with the exchanges providing another avenue for obtaining affordable insurance.

      Yeah it’s a big fucking deal.

      • ha ! I heard my Mom ask Dad about his insurance provider at work. It’s COBRA ! ! I know it’s expensive coz when my sister lost hr insurance when she resigned from her state job, COBRA contacted her. the price was atrocious. Good thing her next job has an insurance plan for its workers. But then , the company is closing at the end of this month, so she';l lose her insurance again. She’s looking for a job now, and tried out this California exchange.At her present workplace , she pays $278 out of pocket, then she found out she could get a cheaper insurance with more benefits from the list of insurers. She’s getting that one for $ 176 a month.

      • Your dad can’t technically have COBRA as an insurance provider, COBRA is a law not an insurance company. COBRA allows you to continue your insurance coverage in case you’re terminated for whatever reason or something else happens which might cause you to lose coverage — for instance, if you were covered under your spouse’s employer plan and you get divorced or your spouse dies, you can continue your coverage under the COBRA law.

        COBRA is supposed to be a temporary bridge. It’s expensive because you’re paying both the employer and employee share. Also, it’s temporary — it only allows you to keep your same insurance for in most cases 18 months. The idea was that in that time, you would find another job (or spouse!) and hopefully get on that benefit plan.

        Not everybody is eligible for it — for instance, if your company goes out of business. COBRA is tied to the company’s plan and if the company ceases to exist, so does your coverage.

      • Min

        COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is triggered if you undergo a separation event at work, or if your hours drop below the number that qualified you for insurance. And the reason it’s so expensive is that it does include the employer and employee contributions, as well as a 2-4% processing fee, since the employee may not longer be on the payroll.

      • ….as well as a 2-4% processing fee…

        Ah yes I forgot about that. The “overhead.” Sigh.

        Shiny-sparkly-free-market-thingie OVER THERE!

  2. PS… It’s a single player plan.
    I’m lucky. I’m tied to dad’s insurance . Yes ! !

  3. I predict that this will be one of those changes where people will experience the benefits but tend not to think about them too much. Having insurance all the time will be the new normal, and people will treat lack of insurance as a bizarre and uncomfortable anomaly rather than the baseline assumption.

    • I think you’re right. But also, the idea that you were stuck in a dead-end job because your wife had MS and you couldn’t lose your insurance will be one of those weird things nobody will ever believe was a “real thing.” It will be like, “but why was Daddy stuck making widgets for 8 bucks an hour instead of starting that hand-crafted furniture business he always said he wanted to?”

      • Well, we’ll see if your new trollpal Georgie will be able to reconcile that $39K difference between what she says is the top income for a family to receive the tax subsidy and the figure on the webpage that I linked ($50K v $89K). When she’s able to spin that, THEN she gets to ‘splain how those folks’ll be stuck workin’ for the same nasty, ol’ employer, 4EVAAAAAAH!

  4. George

    The Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator ( http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/ ) says that for my example, a family of four in the 38138 ZIP loses their subsidy when income exceeds $66k/yr.

    Democommie is a fucking liar and she knows it!

    • I went on the Kaiser calculator and submitted the Germantown TN zip code for a family of 4, non smokers, earning $70,000 a year. I also got a zero subsidty. Also, that the family was eligible for a Silver plan, at $5,936 a year, with the plan covering 70% of expenses. That is fucking awesome for a family of four.

      What’s weird is that if I submitted that exact same information for the 90049 zip code, I got a subsidy for $1,438 — and an amount paid for the premium of $6,594 per year (Silver plan). I submit my own zip code here in Nashville and the subsidy goes away. I submit a New Jersey zip code — all of the info is exactly the same, mind you — and I get a subsidy of $3,157.

      Basically, the healthcare law here in Tennessee is suckier than elsewhere. Alternately, the explanation is that the cost of living overall is cheaper here in Tennessee, and they factor that in. It’s weighted to cost of living.

      George, you’re a tiresome troll. But thanks for the link to the handy calculator.

  5. George

    I think the calculator was linked by another poster earlier, so I can’t take all the credit for that. But, $5936/yr is still $494/mo (double what I pay for my current private non-employer coverage for my family of four) and its listed at 70:30 co-insurance, where I get the 90:10. This Silver PLan costs more than my “mid-tier” plan and covers less.

    This is what I’ve been saying the whole time, but you refused to believe that it could be true. Maybe Obamacare isn’t everything it was advertised to be.

    • Because I don’t believe it’s true. I’d love to know where you found non-employer coverage for a family of four at 90:10 for $250 a month. Please give me the company name. Please tell me what’s covered and what’s not. Does this include dental, vision, mental health coverage? Is there a cap? This deal is too good to be true and doesn’t pass my sniff test. So you’re going to have to prove it.

      Last time I had to buy non-employer coverage, which was 13 years ago, the best I could find was $400 a month and the coverage was crap.

      Your super great awesome deal is definitely not typical.

      • George

        Blue Cross/Blue Shield of TN is my provider (Network P). We bought the plan last year. Office co-pay is $35; specialist is $45; ER is $150. Deductible is $800/individual or $1600/family. Annual out-of-pocket max is $2500/individual or $5k/family. Mental health is broken into two categories — inpatient and outpatient. Outpatient is covered at 100% and inpatient is covered at 80%. Prescriptions are covered at $4 deductible with no annual or lifetime max. There is no annual or lifetime max for any coverage. This is major medical only, so there’s no dental or vision, but Obamacare doesn’t include those, either.

        For those in the insurance industry (or for those who have shopped insurance for themselves in the last 5 yrs or so), Obamacare offerings are focusing on the wrong things. They’re capitalizing on people not understanding the ins and outs of insurance and they’re focusing on things that make headlines. Most people don’t know that pre-existing conditions have been required to be covered since the 1970s. The only time pre-ex coverage can be denied is when you haven’t had creditable coverage for 18 months prior to purchasing your coverage. At that, it can only be denied for a maximum of 18 months — then it is required to be covered. (BTW, AHIP says this only affected 5% of insured persons between 1990 and 2010). If you had creditable coverage within that period, your pre-ex is required to be covered. Its been that way for 40 years. But, most people don’t know that and think that Obamacare is taking away a pre-ex denial, when all they’re doing is covering 18 months if you didn’t have coverage before then. And they’re raising premiums and taxes to do it.

      • BTW, AHIP says this only affected 5% of insured persons between 1990 and 2010.

        Umm, that is utter bullshit. I know way too many people, myself included, who were denied benefits because of a preexisting condition. And I hadn’t had a lapse in coverage, either.

        You’re full of shit Georgina/George.

        Again, I’m tired of you. I’m glad you have found some miraculous coverage that’s super cheap, which I’m still highly suspicious of. The great thing about Obamacare is that you don’t have to lose it. No one is taking it away from you. So enjoy. And farewell.

  6. Georgie, honey, I’m a guy.

    The bottom line, as I said in a comment on a previous thread, is that you and others like you don’t know anymore about Obamacare than you do about Anthropogenic Global Warming but, more importantly, you don’t WANT to know more. You prefer to deal in the arena of confirmation bias.

    The last time I got a quote for pretty good health insurance, the best deal available to me was about $17,000/annum. Granted I’ve had some issues that tend to scare insurance companies (cervical fusion, heart studies) but my experience is hardly atypical. I

    ‘ve had plenty of shitty insurance policies in my life and the dark little secret that employers don’t want to admit to is that shitty insurance is pretty much useless. If I go to the doctor and he tells me that I need $2K worth of blood work or other tests and I don’t have the $2K AND my insurance doesn’t cover it; guess what? I don’t get the tests and then, in addition to feeling lousy I get to worry about whether what’s making me feel lousy is going to kill me.

    The same thing is true when simply seeing a doctor can cost several hundred dollars and going to ER’s and urgent cares is not cheap either (since most of them are run by for profit entities). People don’t go to doctors unless they FEEL sick. By then, for a lot of conditions, they are very, very sick and often it’s too late to do a lot more palliative care.

    Deferring routine medical treatments and exams is foolish. Being prevented from having treatments and exams because a bunch of idiots who don’t understand economics think that THEY’RE getting screwed by the poor people and the, um, well, y’know, THOSE others who are hooverin’ up allathem healthcare dollars that should be THEIRS!!

    Whether your indignorance is fostered by greed, stupidity or malice is immaterial. You’re full of shit and if you took the time to educate yourself you’d know it. Fat chance that’s gonna happen.

  7. This is what happens when I edit on the fly.

    This:

    By then, for a lot of conditions, they are very, very sick and often it’s too late to do a lot more than palliative, end-of-life care.

    and this:

    Being prevented from having treatments and exams because a bunch of idiots who don’t understand economics think that THEY’RE getting screwed by the poor people and the, um, well, y’know, THOSE others who are hooverin’ up allathem healthcare dollars that should be THEIRS!!? That borders on depraved indifference.

  8. George

    Beale, you’re right that no law has been passed that says I can’t have that plan anymore. But, Obamacare’s requirements have made it impossible for BCBS to offer that plan at that price. Now, my family and I are faced with the choice of buying a plan that costs more and covers less, or paying a lot more for a plan that is similar to what we already bought. In this respect, Obamacare is the de facto law that takes away the health care we enjoyed.

    I think this is another example of the government’s sleight of hand with Obamacare. They tell you there’s a subsidy to lower your cost, but it is applied in arrears, NOT at the time of payment. They tell you that if you like your insurance, you can keep it — but, when their onerous regulations make your policy unavailable, you can’t keep it.

    BTW, what’s your pre-ex, if you don’t mind me asking? I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours :)

    • Fuck off. That’s my pre-ex. Calling bullshit on your whole little charade.

      • Dan

        Actually a large number of people in my peer group have lost work. And now have to purchase something with even less income. Ask around the colleges and what has happened in Adjunct land. The marginal parts of the workforce are out of pocket and now have an extra burden to deal with, based on a lowered income.

  9. George

    Maybe if I swear and pretend that reality doesn’t exist, it will all go away.

    ~Southern Beale

    • Maybe if I pretend I’m a woman not a man and my IP address isn’t easily traced to a major Memphis corporation whose website touts its major “Comprehensive Health and Welfare” benefits plan for employees I can continue to try to bullshit people with my tales of fictitious affordable non-employer provided health insurance that Bams is ruining, the big fat meanie. — George/Georgina

  10. Dan

    Actually it’s been devastating for adjunct teachers. It was possible to scrape together 30 K a year teach 3 class here 3 there.

    Now no college will give you more than 2, Many colleges are ending adjunct employment.

    It’s been devastating in my
    Peer group. The reform has simply given institutional accountants reason to contract the workforce and the means to do that is by being stingy with hours. My Girlfriend is out of pocket at least 6K because the courses offered to her by her college have been trimmed to no more than 2 a semester.

    The rule changes mean she then needs to buy insurance that she cannot now afford.

    It been badly written.

    • Dan

      Add to that the projected extra expense of a $2,000 lay out for insurance for one year on a plan that probably won’t cover much and has a large copayment.

      This isn’t the NHS like the UK. I think it’s a bit of a mess actually.

  11. “It been badly written.”

    True, dat

    Let me see if I have this right. You don’t like Obamacare because it’s socialism? or what? And you’re blaming all of the stuff the colleges and universities are doing on Obamacare–which hasn’t kicked in as yet? .Wow.

  12. Cainbreak

    The ACA was not the best, but if the republicans had spent time trying to fix the problems rather than being petulant children willing to cut their nose off to spite their face. Many of the ideas in the act come from Republican sources, but they will oppose anything that Obama and the Democrats propose. Still, this is a start.

  13. Cainbreak

    By the way, my BCBS for two was $6k per year (individual, self employed) and they kicked it up to $7.5k “because of Obama care” last April, plus the annual 10% increase. And the deductible is $2500 ea. I could pay out of pocket $12.5K before they pay a dime. And no health issues, They have been telling me every year how happy they are to limit the annual increase to 10%. What a scam.