POLLS: The “AFFORDABLE” Care Act and You!

Here are a couple of POLLS for you readers in these USA.

And as you choose your answer, I want you all to remember the Nuns on the Bus, the CHA and Sr. Keehan, and the USCCB, all of whom lobbied for the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act.

Have you had your health insurance cancelled by your insurance company or employers since the "AFFORDABLE" Care Act kicked in?

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And then…

When will your health insurance be cancelled?

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The combox is open for registered readers.

Let’s us know about your experience with the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Pò sì jiù, POLLS, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to POLLS: The “AFFORDABLE” Care Act and You!

  1. Jack says:

    On another note, my primary care physician has decided to retire. Apparently the new paperwork requirements are so daunting, he could not, as a single physician practice, afford to hire enough administrative support staff to comply with the requirements. This is a man who is one of the mostly genuinely kind and compassionate men that I have ever met, you know, the kind we really need in primary care.

  2. Mandy P. says:

    Well, my insurance has not been cancelled as of yet. However, we did receive a letter notifying us that we would be experiencing a 25% increase as of Oct. 1 (so we’re now paying a lot more for what we had). And they were kind enough to inform us that even though we managed to be grandfathered in- so they weren’t required to outright cancel our plan- we do not fall under the HHS definition of “acceptable level of coverage” so we may be subject to the tax penalty for those who do not have insurance…even though we do have insurance.

    From what I can tell from talking to my insurance company, the new policies they are offering that would keep us from paying the tax penalty and are considered comparable to what we have now are over double what we pay now in premiums and have huge deductibles (in the $12K range). Basically we’d have to choose between paying for health insurance and paying for our groceries. So that’s out of the question. If we do end up forced off our plan at some point in the future we will likely “go naked”,” pay the stupid tax, and negotiate with our docs with cash as much as possible.

  3. 1tiredmomma says:

    Technically we don’t have insurance, but we have health coverage through Christian Medi Share. It works like insurance, but it is a large group of Christians paying each other’s bills. It uses the Phcs network and costs $325 per month for our family of 10. Does not pay for contraception or abortion and is excluded under the ACA. Might be an option for other readers out there. We have used them for two years now. Pre existing conditions are not covered, but members are encouraged to give extra and that goes towards uncovered expenses of other members.

  4. disco says:

    I have a Cadillac plan. It’s not that good but I can afford it and it provides decent enough coverage. I fully expect my plan to either become terrible or unaffordable in the next year

  5. yatzer says:

    I am on Medicare as I am over 65. My physician has left full-time practice recently and is now seeing patients half-time.

  6. Patrick-K says:

    I have VA benefits… which is sort of like insurance, but usually involves a long wait for routine check-ups, and you can only go to VA hospitals for non-emergency care. I live in a city that has a few of these, but I’d imagine for people in rural areas it could be a long trip. That’s what government-run health care looks like, I guess.

  7. OrthodoxChick says:

    We lost our insurance two years ago because my husband was injured at work. When he went out on worker’s comp for two surgeries and rehab, his employer dropped him from their health insurance plan. We were offered to continue our insurance under COBRA, but the premiums were only affordable for the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers. We had to go on state-run medicaid and are still on it. We just received a letter stating that the ACA changes the formula for calculating who is/is not eligible to receive medicaid and we will be subject to re-qualification in Spring, 2014. If we do not qualify at that point, then we will have no insurance options whatsoever since I have not been able to find employment and my husband is still injured. We live in a state that is ACA-friendly and has set up its own state exchange for purchasing insurance. I haven’t tried it out yet because I haven’t had to. I just pray it stays that way until I can find someone to hire me.

  8. Charivari Rob says:

    My plan hasn’t changed (yet), but we did receive an interesting news item from the state a couple of weeks ago.

    Here in Massachusetts, there has been for the last few years something called a “Section 125 Plan”. I don’t know much at all about it, but basically, if you’re not eligible to be covered by your employer’s plan (probably applies to less-than half-time workers, I guess), you can still buy this 125 Plan with pre-tax payroll deduction (no contribution from your employer). Sounds like a simple, small convenience. I don’t know, but I’m guessing the same or similar is available in other states.

    The notice that came:

    “Recent federal guidance issued by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service indicates that Section 125 plans cannot be used to purchase health insurance for employees without an employer contribution.”

    So, if I’m reading that correctly – if you were in that category, now you must pay taxable money up front and maybe you’ll qualify for tax credits on the back end. The IRS must get theirs first!

  9. mamajen says:

    I am holding my breath, expecting bad news at any moment. So far I have heard that a cousin’s family, and my sister’s family have seen their rates skyrocket, both living in the same state I do (NY). We have been fortunate to have excellent, affordable insurance through my husband’s employer. It would be (will be?) very difficult for us to afford a higher rate.

  10. Franklinwasright says:

    My Mother in Law has received a cancellation notice. My Father in Law is a small farmer, he is going to pay the fine rather than purchase insurance.

    My mother is a retired Air Force officer, she is also a nurse and was a squadron comander of a medical group. My grandfather and my aunt an uncle were officers as well. I also have a brother and two cousins who are veterans. I grew up on TriCare for a time and my first two sons were on Medicaid for two years while we were in college.

    I hope to never be on Government run health care again. I have witnessed the incompetence and dehumanizing beaurucracy first hand. I thank God we have excellent employer provided health care, and I pray it will not be cancelled as a result of Obamacare and I also pray the law will be repealed.

    By the way, I grew up in North Dakota. My mother joined the Air Force when I was 11 and then was stationed in ND 3 times. My hometown had a cancer treatment center that accomodated many Canadians seeking cancer treatments. I pray that we can avoid single payer, I can’t afford to go to a foreign country and pay out of pocket for timely and quality care.

  11. Charivari Rob says:

    …and my primary care physician announced a few months back that he’s going to move out of his current group and start a concierge practice. Not very reassuring when I called the helpdesk people at my insurance plan to find out how that might affect my coverage if I kept with him and their reaction pretty clearly indicated that they had never heard of such a thing as a concierge practice!

  12. Stephen Matthew says:

    My insurance policy experienced many, many changes relating to ACA, often weekly notices about new changes, policy details, future benefit modifications, and a bewildering array of constant mailings. Finally I was notified I could extend my current policy through 2014, but that it could not be renewed beyond that. On top of all that the premiums went up by a very large margin for no increased benefit to me (I was offered coverage for birth control, sterilization, certain elective surgeries, live-birth, etc. none of which are of any use to a single Catholic man with any intention of trying to life the faith).

    So when the documents came requiring me to choose if I would extend my current coverage through 2014, or just through the plan year, or only until Jan 1 and switch the the exchange, I decided I could not justify paying the ever higher premiums, particularly with morally troublesome elements included in the plan.

    So, now I am uninsured.

    I don’t know if I will be purchasing insurance. All of the policies I can find seem to have morally objectionable aspects. I do not qualify for any assistance through ACA or medicaid, though I am in a financially very difficult position for the time being. I don’t know quite what to do, either from a moral perspective or a financial one. I know one of the clergy in the diocese wrote an article suggesting that morally it is better to buy insurance, even with objectionable aspects, if it is the only option available rather than to risk our health and the finances and well-being of our families, and so we should buy whatever we can and hope to have better options in the future.

  13. mamajen says:

    Mandy P.,

    You might want to look at this as a way to avoid penalties without having to buy more expensive coverage: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/10/28/politico_rush_is_right_on_obamacare_tax

  14. Adam Welp says:

    I work for a health insurance company they better not cancel my coverage! (Well, it will get cancelled when Obamacare causes my employer to go out of business)

  15. OrthodoxChick says:

    Charivari Rob,
    I’m not in Mass., but just next door. I happened to hear on the radio about a week ago that both Massachusetts and Vermont are seriously persuing going to a single-payer plan, rather than wait for the federal government to get there. No estimate was given as to how long it would be before that happens or what would be involved to make it happen, but…

  16. ppb says:

    My employer-based insurance hasn’t been cancelled, but recently the insurance provider that administers the plan sold out to another insurance provider. So as of January 1 I will have a different insurance provider, and at this point no information is available on whether we will see changes to the plan, doctor network, premiums, etc.

  17. Facta Non Verba says:

    Next year, when the employer mandate kicks in, every employer of over 50 employees will do the math: buy insurance for its employees, or pay a fine of $2,000 per employee. The fine looks a lot cheaper. There will be incentives to move employees from the employer-based insurance and into the ObamaCare exchanges. This is when the ax will fall on many.

  18. We also have Christian Care Medical Sharing (Medi-Share) and are are not required to pay for abortion or birth control. When phoning Medi-Share for pre-authorization for services, etc., the call always includes an invitation to pray together for the particular intention/situation at hand ~ providing a great opportunity for us to share the sign of the cross with Protestants on the other end of the line.

    If there is a similar Catholic medical sharing organization/option, we would love to hear about it!

  19. Kathleen10 says:

    My husband’s insurance through work is likely to deteriorate. They already were sending questionnaires and indicating they’d like us to pay more, if our doctor only said there was something wrong with us.
    I now work for a public school, and thanks to unions supporting Obama, they get one of the exemptions, I believe, from all this horror, for now. Did you know Nancy Pelosi’s friends in San Francisco, like restaurant owners, got exemptions?? Anyway I still expect it to get to us, and when insurance systems collapse, what are any individual insurance companies going to be able to do? I don’t know what unholy alliance insurers have made with Obama, but you can bet, they have. Whenever this guy “meets” with anybody, he always gets what he wants. (He just met with the Wall Street Journal Board. They must have criticized him.) No one except the wealthy and politicians will escape the tentacles of the single-payer system, maybe universities and educational systems. It is only a matter of time before we all get there. Hillary Clinton is probably drooling at seeing how Obama is implementing what she wanted to do, inflict socialized medicine on America. The fascists are getting an excellent tutorial in how to get er’ done, just run right over dissenters, keep blaming somebody or something else, and when cornered, accuse your opponents of something. Hillary won’t have “racism” to hide behind, but she is seeing how you really can just ignore critics since the media won’t question you no matter what, if you’re a Democrat. So what’s to stop them! The president seems to have limitless powers and thus far, he is unchecked.
    The “roll out” has been preposterous. They’re waiting for the clamoring masses to start chirping, and then tum da de dum! SINGLE PAYER TO THE RESCUE!
    And my dentist just retired. He’s too young. I’m sure it’s all this nonsense.
    Obama is a horrible racist, and this entire effort in my opinion is to “level the playing field” so that his favored group (African Americans) can have better coverage even if they don’t work and don’t pay anything. If he ruins the health care system for everybody else, especially white people, and brings in socialized medicine to boot, that is just icing on his delicious cake.

  20. lsclerkin says:

    I work for the state of Wisconsin. I have MS, so I have to use my insurance a lot.
    I don’t know what this means yet for me. Nothing has changed for me. Yet.
    I expect I will find out in 2014 sometime.
    And I’m a supporter of Gov. Walker.
    I’m in the rank minority.

  21. OrthodoxChick says:

    BridgetTheresa,

    If there’s a similar/comparable Catholic medical sharing organization in the U.S., I sure can’t find it. I’ve been googling all over the place. That Christian medi-share that you and another suggested…I just looked into it. I discovered that in order to use it, one must set up a personal account with America’s Christian Credit Union and when I hopped over to their site, I discovered that they (the credit union) are Wesleyan and they only extend membership to people who support the Wesleyan ministry. The credit union’s site said, “It’s easy to open an account online in just minutes. You’re eligible to join if you meet any one of the following: Members, attendees, or individuals who align themselves with Wesleyan Christian doctrine as well as ministries, churches and universities; Members/attendees and employees of church denominational ministries that align themselves with Wesleyan Christian doctrine or that are listed below are eligible for membership”. When I checked the list, the Roman Catholic Church was nowhere to be found.

    We Catholics very desperately need a Catholic medi-share that offers additional discounts for using only those select Catholic hospitals that support the Magisterium (not the Cino’s). We also need a Catholic credit union that offers the full range of financial services, especially a pro-life credit card. I can find multiples of these types of services in the other-denominational Christian community, but zippo for Catholics.

  22. Glennonite says:

    To keep my coverage at the approximate same level, it will go from $173/month to $871/month. I am 53 yo and healthy; I visit the doc about twice a year and the dentist twice a year for check-up. I have dropped my insurance for the 1st time in my adult life.

    Here’s the question that I haven’t heard addressed: What about INDIVIDUALS who have a moral/religious/conscientious-objection to paying (through health insurance/taxes/fines for not obtaining health insurance) for abortion/contraception/abortifacients??!!

    I only hear about religious employers, or other employers who object to covering these immoral “medical” procedures having any standing based upon religious convictions. I’m an AMERICAN and I object to being forced to pay for immoral actions; isn’t that the end of it?

  23. sunbreak says:

    I pay for my own insurance and am grandfathered in an old plan. Actually, it was already a grandfathered plan several years ago, and I am able to keep it. There was only a modest increase this year, less of a percentage hike than in some previous years. No subsidy is being factored in here.

  24. StJude says:

    I went years without insurance.. I just couldnt afford it. But last April I finally made enough to buy it for my son and I. Because I just bought it.. it includes all the Obamacare nonsense. I am holding my breath.. terrified it will go up next year. If it does, I will have to pay the fine and go without… I can barely afford what I have now. For what I have now.. my insurance would double on the exchanges… with a much much higher deductible.

  25. OrthodoxChick says:

    Glennonite,

    Someone who’s a lawyer can correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that why everyone was up in arms about Justice Roberts ruling that Obamacare IS a tax? Because the federal government does have the legal power to tax its citizens. That means that under Obamacare, it is legal for the government to charge whatever amount of penalty (ie. tax) it wants to if we choose not to purchase insurance. The penalties start off pretty cheap, as I understand it, but they increase year after year. So, if Obamacare permanently remains the law of the land, the only choice we will have is whether to purchase health insurance that offends our religion for an exhorbitant price, or pay an exhorbitant penal tax and remain uncovered – with all of the risks that situation brings with it.

    By the way…that Christian medi share option that a couple of people have mentioned is exempt under Obamacare and the penal tax cannot be levied against participants. We sooooo need a Catholic version of that medi share – stat! Info about what section of Obamacare provides that exemption at this link:

    http://mychristiancare.org/exemption.aspx

  26. Glennonite says:

    OrthodoxChick:

    Thanks for the link; I will look into it. I don’t want to be without insurance, and I do want to do business with honorable entities. Is there no Catholic insurance?

    Does anyone have the battle-plan for those of us who cannot participate with the evil that is coming? I have decided that I will not even pay the fine (ONLY $97!) because money is fungible, therefore even the fine will go to funding evil medical practices. I understand that there may be liens placed upon bank accounts, investments, and/or properties.

    I want to be prepared for the persecution, to know what to expect. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but things are beginning to fundamentally change around here…

  27. Lori Pieper says:

    I haven’t ever had insurance (except for Medicaid for a while before I got my present job). My present employer is a tiny non-profit who can’t afford to offer insurance or benefits.

    I simply will not have anything to do with Obamacare on principle. I too am very interested in the Medi-share type option. It seemed like a very Christian approach. I too looked for a similar Catholic option and couldn’t find one.

    The big problem is that according to ACA the entity you sign with has to have been found in 1999 or earlier to be exempt. A Catholic one, if founded now, couldn’t get in. There was a Catholic medi-share that tried to get started up as part of one of the generalized Christian ones, so it would count. It was called Solidarity Share or something like that, but it never got off the ground. Shame. Why haven’t Catholics been on the ball on this?

  28. Transportsjoie says:

    This is one of the reasons, though born and raised in the US, I’ve lived in Canada most of my adult life (also a Canadian citizen.) The Canadian health care system is not perfect, but I never would have been able to afford health insurance in the US, and earned too much to qualify for Medicaid. I lived in Western New York for a few years in my forties, without health insurance, and it is an extremely stressful way to live, especially as you get older. With prayers for a solution.

  29. OrthodoxChick says:

    Glennonite,
    There’s no Catholic insurance for the individual market, nor for private business owners that I can find so far through google searches. There is a Catholic Mutual Insurance company for Dioceses, but as best I can gather, one is only eligible for that if one is an employee of a participating Diocese – and not every Diocese does participate in it.

    The Christian medi share model is not insurance. From what I’ve been reading, it seems to operate more like a health care expense cop-op model. Members pay an initial fee to join and a monthly fee in the $300 range to remain active members. Members with a pre-existing condition such as Diabetes are put into a different group and charged more. They are also put onto a health and wellness regimen and they must hit certain health goals established by the program in order to improve their condition (and lower the risk to the co-op pool at large) in order to remain in the plan. Smokers are not eligible unless they have been tobacco-free for a year or more. Seniors age 65+ are also put into their own group and charged more. And since the medi share is non-Catholic Christian, they are anti-alcohol. If a member gets into an auto accident due to alcohol or drug use, their resulting medical expenses won’t be covered. In-patient rehab for substance abuse isn’t covered either. That strikes me as a little uncharitable, but on the other hand, in order for such a model to work from a business standpoint, certain risks have to be mitigated. In defense of charity and compassion though, I would think that a Catholic model would need to maybe have a Temperance clause that discourages alcohol use and/or gives incentives (maybe with a discounted rate) to members who go “X” years without needing substance related services or treatment of any kind. If this kind of a co-op could be associated with Catholic hospitals or other Magisterium-loyal medical facilities, perhaps substance abuse treatment could be provided only at those designated hospitals and/or rehabs. I don’t know. I guess it’s all just an academic debate anyway at this point because unfortunately, I haven’t heard of any groups of Catholic business people and healthcare professionals who are trying to put something like that together.

    It’s something to seriously pray for though because it is very desperately needed.

  30. OrthodoxChick says:

    Lori Pieper,

    Is it the medi share program itself that has to predate 1999, or the sponsoring institution? If it’s just the sponsoring institution, then a Catholic hospital would qualify, as would that Catholic Mutual Insurance Company if they chose to sponsor a non-insurance health care co-op to the individual market.

  31. Bea says:

    Voted: “I still have mine”
    But we’re holding our breath.

    Didn’t vote on:” When will your health insurance be cancelled?”
    because we don’t know.
    Probably just before we need it . (According to 0-Plan)

  32. OrthodoxChick says:

    Lori Pieper,

    Good point about the 1999 prohibition. There’s one teensy-weensy loophole in the Obamacare law that would allow a Catholic medi share to be newly founded and still qualify for the exemption from penalty and that would be if the Christian medi share plan that we’ve been talking about, the one that is already exempt, agreed in writing to sponsor a new Catholic medi share group as a “spin-off” (if you will) from them. New religious medi share groups are only exempt if they stem from a group that has been in continuous operation since 1999. Here’s the wording from Section 1501:

    ‘‘(IV) which (or a predecessor of which) has
    been in existence at all times since December 31,
    1999, and medical expenses of its members have
    been shared continuously and without interruption
    since at least December 31, 1999, and…”

    It’s that little phrase “predecessor of which” that could be a loophole. I’m not a lawyer, but I was raised by someone who was a contract auditor for the federal government so maybe just a touch rubbed off on me (I hope).

  33. My employer’s health plan was discontinued, and he has advised us that he will need to select something else. It makes no difference to me as my countercultural doctor does not accept any insurance, and I hardly ever see him anyway as I have come to believe that God is a good craftsman who created a remarkably self-healing body and I lead a low-risk life that does not require constant medical intervention.

  34. Lin says:

    I work for a large international corporation who self insures. We have coverage through 2014 but who knows after that. Our share in the costs have increased and both deductibles and co-payments have increased. Socialized medicine will not be good for any of us here in the US. I have seen socialized medicine first hand in a hospital in Vienna! People with money in Austria pay out of pocket for medical expenses and not always in Austria.

    If our employer continues to offer health insurance, I may never retire! But the future is very uncertain at this point!

  35. joan ellen says:

    On the negative side: We have been ‘lulled’ into not looking to the future in our temporal needs, especially health, including food and exercise.

    On the positive side: We can, as individuals, become ‘unlulled’ via the internet/books/others by learning to avoid many health problems, learning alternative health care processes and procedures for a particular health problem, and joining family…original, new, extended…in helping each other by support/encouragement, by living/working together…if not on the same property, at least closer to each other, when possible. Parish families can do the same where/when possible. See Andrew Saucci’s words above: “I have come to believe that God is a good craftsman who created a remarkably self-healing body and I lead a low-risk life that does not require constant medical intervention. ”

    The ACA may end up being a blessing in disguise by each of us doing more to ‘insure’ our health, and strengthening families and parishes. It seems many of us will sacrifice/suffer. Family/parish prayers will go along way in healing us.

    Even so, we still need to pray for and work to get an acceptable Catholic medi-share plan.

  36. St. Epaphras says:

    Christian Healthcare Ministries is the best health sharing plan I’ve found so far. Here’s the link: http://www.chministries.org/default.aspx. There are a lot of Catholics in the plan, the cost is very reasonable, you don’t have to sign an evangelical statement of faith, the price does not go up with your age (like Medi-Share), they accept all practicing Christians who live a “Biblical lifestyle” (which from reading their information is very reasonable). They have answered, very politely and fully, every question I have asked them. I’ll be joining them before the penalty sets in, God willing.

    The people who were trying to start the Catholic version of this already belong to Christian Healthcare Ministries, so CHM informed me.

    A friend with a large family is very happy with Samaritan Ministries: http://samaritanministries.org/healthreform/ which has a very good rate for a single-parent family (she is a widow). But overall I still prefer the Christian Healthcare Ministries.

  37. Lori Pieper says:

    Orthodox Chick, St. Epaphras,

    Yes, you both have a much better memory than me! I did previously look into the Christian Healthcare Ministries, following the trail of the Catholic one, and they do look very good, and very flexible costs.

  38. friarpark says:

    Insurance has not been canceled but my cost has doubled in the past two years.

  39. bookworm says:

    There’s a medi-share plan that advertises heavily on EWTN radio (at least on the Covenant Network stations, most of which are in IL and MO) and bills itself as fully compliant with “the new health care law”. Its only disclaimer is that it is not available in Montana (not sure why). It’s NOT Solidarity Health Share (another specifically Catholic oriented plan), but unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of it right now…

    My insurance is through the State of Illinois, for which I work, and no one seems to know at this point how or if it will be affected by Obamacare. It’s very good in terms of cost and coverage (the terms were negotiated by the unionized state employees, but even the non-union ones like me get the same deal) Whether it qualifies as a “Cadillac plan” no one seems to know at this point either. The employee share of the cost went up a bit this year, about $70 a month or so. Gradual increases I think I can handle, but if they jack it up, say, by $200 or $300 a month, that’s another story.

  40. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I changed jobs 10/1. At the old job, my premium would have gone up by about $150/month for much worse coverage. I used to work for a community hospital, now I work for a pediatric hospital. New coverage is better than old.

    The parts of the law that are visible to (and readily understood by) the general public are bad enough, but some of the more arcane regulatory changes can be even worse for healthcare providers. Some of those changes will produce big immediate savings for the Medicare program and will be touted as successes. At the same time, more and more physicians are leaving private practice to work for larger entities as it is increasingly difficult for a small physician practice to stay solvent.

    It’s difficult for me to believe that any of this is by accident. Once the insurance carriers and most of the providers face imminent financial ruin, a government takeover will be much easier to carry off.

  41. smittyjr63 says:

    I hate to say it, but the only way to possibly sink this ship is to boycott it, plain and simple. Stay healthy, don’t get sick, don’t sign up for Obamacare (don’t even call it ACA because then you’re letting Obama off the hook, and this was his brainchild afterall). Pay the fine at the end of the year…it’s much cheaper. If you get sick, work out payment plans with the hospital/doctor. If everyone in this country did this (except for the terminally ill) we could ruin Obamacare.

  42. avecrux says:

    I work for an Archdiocesan school. The status of my insurance will depend on the outcome of the HHS mandate lawsuits. That would be a good category to add to your poll, Father. If the mandate proceeds, our entire family will be out of insurance.

  43. David Collins says:

    In the polls, I said I had no insurance; nevertheless I am enrolled in the VA healthcare system.

  44. biberin says:

    I have long had an individual private policy, as I am self-employed. As of Jan 1, my policy is cancelled and I can pick up a new one at a much higher cost. When I applied on the exchange website, I discovered that while I am nowhere near poor enough to qualify for medicaid, I am too poor for subsidized ACA plans. My state chose not to massively expand medicaid to fill that gap. My options are to buy a full-price unsubsidized plan or to go uninsured. The ACA is kind enough to leave a loophole for me, so that I would not be assessed the penalty if I chose not to spend 50% of my earned income on an approved policy. What bothers me most is that I am not terribly poor, and I do not need free healthcare! I am perfectly willing to pay, but because they can’t force my state to offer me a free policy, it’s full-price or nothing. I have chosen to opt out of the system completely and go with Samaritan Ministries. They have been going for 20 years, which is way more reliable than the ACA! (Not to mention that even if I qualified for a nice cheap subsidized plan, I don’t trust that the subsidies wouldn’t disappear and leave me hanging.)

  45. biberin says:

    I should clarify that while Samaritan Ministries is *not* insurance (sharing plan sort of like Medi Share but less complicated) it “counts” for the ACA and members pay no penalty. Probably because there are 25,000+ households in the group, moving $7million every month.

  46. biberin says:

    I should have saved my comment until I read everything else, to make sure I responded to everything pertinent. Sorry!

    I am not affiliated with Samaritan Ministries in any way, and I’m not even a member yet, as the check is still in the mail. I did want to clarify that they have a statement of faith, which does not exclude Catholics, and require a “Biblical lifestyle” which does exclude a lot of expensive high risk behavior but leaves room for Catholics who drink alcohol but don’t abuse it. There are no “levels” of coverage–everybody is expected to pay the first $300 of whatever incident, and the rest is covered. Pre-existing diabetes and heart disease are excluded. There are no escrow accounts or centralized anything but paperwork–money goes directly from member to member. It was very important to me to know that there is no way anybody can embezzle, because we’re talking about an awful lot of money.