Daily Archives: August 28, 2013

Obamacare Penalties: Final Answer

From the latest IRS ruling on the Individual Mandate the Obamacare penalties for not purchasing a qualified plan are:

  • 2014: Greater of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child under age 18, maximum of $285 per family, or 1% of income over the tax-filing threshold
  • 2015: Greater of $325 per adult and $162.50 per child under age 18, maximum of $975 per family, or 2% over the tax-filing threshold
  • 2016: Greater of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under age 18, maximum of $2,085 per family, or 2.5% over the tax-filing threshold

If the penalty applies for less than a full calendar year, the penalty will be 1/12 of the annual amount per month without coverage




Snowe: President thought opposition to health law would eventually fade away

Snowe: President thought opposition to health law would eventually fade away – The Hill’s Healthwatch.

Obama courted Snowe’s support in an attempt to make the bill bipartisan. He assured her GOP opposition to the law would be short-lived, she said.

“He thought the opposition to it would lessen after the [2010] election. I said, ‘It’s just the beginning.’ I said, ‘It’s going to grow because I can tell you it’s not going to go away and it’s going to get worse,’” Snowe said in a radio interview moderated by Julie Mason, host of SiriusXM’s Press Pool.

Snowe decided not to play along…

Snowe ultimately spurned Obama’s entreaties. She voted for a version of the measure in the Senate Finance Committee but opposed it on the floor. The Maine senator told the president that public opinion would further sour “because of the implementation problems, which would just exacerbate and aggravate the opposition and those who were opposed to it to begin with.”

How prescient! Also, it shows how little President Obama understands the opposition.

Prediction: Chaos



Obamacare induced Doctor Shortage – beware the Triple Threat

Ouch: Doctor Shortage Could Spell (More) Disaster for Obamacare – Cortney O’Brien.

Healthcare professionals are warning that there could be a wide gap between the number of people seeking medical treatment under Obamacare and the number of doctors available to provide it.

A triple threat — more people needing care, tens of thousands of doctors reaching retirement age and a growing number of physicians getting so frustrated with bureaucracy that they want out — could undermine any improvements the law envisages.

Personally I encourage doctors, especially primary are physicians, to stop fooling with insurance and post your prices.


Related: How much does surgery cost?



Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner Braces For Bumps In The Road

Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner Braces For Bumps In The Road – Capsules – The KHN Blog.

Colorado, which is preparing for the Oct. 1 launch of its new online insurance marketplace, expects bumps in the road as residents start enrolling in new health coverage options created by the Affordable Care Act.

“We’re going to have 500,000 new customers,” said Marguerite Salazar, the state’s new insurance commissioner, during an Aug. 19 interview – her second day on the job. “Just think of how many possibilities there are for things to go wrong there.”

She has great faith in the staff she’s now leading at Colorado’s Division of Insurance, she said, but is realistic about the big changes that are coming.

“We know it’s not going to be just a completely smooth transition as people who have never had insurance buy it and try to figure out how to use it. … Also, insurance companies, which are not used to dealing with people who are previously uninsured, are going to find themselves having different issues with their customers. The Division of insurance is going to step up to make sure we can help both sides,” Salazar said.

Many of these previously uninsured are going to have inflated expectations about how the coverage works. The plans have deductible and copays. That translates into out of pocket expenses. The concept of both paying monthly premiums and then having to pay at the doctors office will not be well received.

Since the ads say that “real” coverage is available through the Colorado Exchange, whoops there I go again, I mean “Marketplace” the “common folk” are going to expect everything to be covered as a first dollar benefit.

Prediction: Chaos


Obamacare: Delay, delay. What will your plans cost?

Exclusive: U.S. delays deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans | Reuters.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.

Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains “on track to open” the marketplaces on time on October 1.

The exchanges, whoos we now use the politically correct term, “marketplaces” will open on October 1st until they won’t. As the article goes on to say, that date isn’t all that important as long as you can sign up in time for coverage starting January 1st.