Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Passing up Obamacare - My Biggest Mistake

So much for loyalty. Because of it I passed up an opportunity to sign up for a policy under Obamacare, and it is costing me big-time.

Last December my health insurance company offered to renew the policy for another year at the same rate I was paying. Since I was turning 65 and eligible for Medicare at the end of the year, and partly because the ACA website was not yet quite working, and partly to show loyalty to an insurance agent who had served me with health coverage for several years, I decided to renew it instead of getting a cheaper plan I found on the ACA website.

BIG MISTAKE. Yesterday, I got a letter from United Healthcare (the so-call "Golden Rule" policy) jumping my rates 30% - from $644/month (for just me) to $840/month starting July 15th - in the middle of the year term!

My health insurance agent of many years told me today that health insurance companies can change the rates ANYTIME even after you have renewed for a full year at a fixed rate. I passed up a lower cost ACA policy to give them a commission - and I'm told that agents "don't make much anyway."  Well, if you didn't want my insurance commission  that much why was I trying to do you a favor by sticking with you until I get Medicare at 65? The conversation went downhill from there.

Until ACA came along, individuals like me who aren't in a group plan get screwed whenever the company like United Healthcare wants to jump the rate ANYTIME during the year you signed up for. Now, because of ACA, the Texas State Bar can finally offer solo lawyers a GROUP rate. They tried to do it for 7 years before ACA but were unable to do it. I hope that as a nonpracticing attorney I can still qualify. I refuse to allow UH to hit me with a 30% in the middle of a policy year.

I am going to check it out now. I heartily encourage everyone to get an ACA plan if they are an individual. The REAL DEATH PANELS are the health insurance companies who get to make whatever rule they want whenever they want.  After the lay off I describe in my book "Better Times Ahead April Fool" my income was so sporadic that I had to go without health insurance for over 20 years! Finally, I developed a business with a rich cash flow that allows me to continue an expensive individual policy - but what about those millions of Americans who are in the same boat I was in during "Better Times Ahead...?""

Jumping my rate from $644/month to $840/month for 1 person is absurd - I haven't even been in a hospital or taken prescription meds in 30 years!

Obamacare rocks if you are an individual needing affordable health insurance. I will never pass it up again! Unlike most Americans I have done business in over 50 countries - and seen that we are the only ones who don't cover the medical needs of our citizens.

How is that better than the rest of the world? From better health care to keeping America a global leader, I wrote a roadmap for success in the chapter entitled "Agenda for American Greatness" - a FREE version with photos is at the link.

As I show in "Agenda" we need more than the Affordable Care Act to get back to No. 1. However, I will never make the mistake of passing on Obamacare again.  Pass it on.

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