Tag Archives: uninsured

Obamacare supporters are doing lots of door-knocking. It might not work.

Obamacare supporters are doing lots of door-knocking. It might not work..

Last week, I wrote about Enroll America’s plan to go door-to-door to urge uninsured people to sign up for health insurance, in some cases returning a half-dozen times to convey the message. But will a knock on the door – or eight – be enough?

Maybe not, according to Stan Dorn, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, whom I quoted in the piece and who is skeptical of such efforts. He thinks the only way to get large numbers of people signed up quickly is to actually do the signing up for them.

“It’s human nature not to complete forms or paperwork,” he said. “The initiatives that have succeeded in enrolling large numbers of people have eliminated the need for consumers to fill out paperwork.”

I just wonder if people will be willing to share the information required even if someone signs them up.


Young invincibles opt out of Obamacare?

Health insurers fear young people will opt out – Yahoo! News.

Dan Lopez is the definition of a “young invincible”….

Dan Lopez rarely gets sick and hasn’t been to a doctor in 10 years, so buying health insurance feels like a waste of money.

Even after the federal health overhaul takes full effect next year, the 24-year-old said he will probably decide to pay the $100 penalty for those who skirt the law’s requirement that all Americans purchase coverage.

“I don’t feel I should pay for something I don’t use,” said the Milwaukee resident, who makes about $48,000 a year working two part-time jobs.

I’d like to know where he get’s his crystal ball! Of course, he’s far from alone and with the increased premiums for the young invincibles, especially when they don’t qualify for a subsidy or it is very small, one can’t blame theme for seriously considering “opting out”.

Of course, “opting out” presents a serious problem for Obamacare…

Experts warn a lot of these so-called “young invincibles” could opt to pay the fine instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on insurance premiums. If enough young adults avoid the new insurance marketplace, it could throw off the entire equilibrium of the Affordable Care Act. Insurers are betting on the business of that group to offset the higher costs they will incur for older, sicker beneficiaries.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that about six million people of various ages will pay the tax penalty for not having insurance in 2014, the first year the law championed by President Barack Obama will be fully implemented.

I find the next paragraph troubling but typical of those who believe that coverage pre – Obamacare was “poor” and post-Obamacare is fantastic…

About 3 million 18-24 year-olds in the U.S. currently purchase their own insurance. Many pay high prices for scant benefits, with high deductibles and co-pays because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid and have no coverage options from their employers or parents. The Urban Institute estimates that the majority of adults in their 20s will qualify for government subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Continue reading Young invincibles opt out of Obamacare?


Obama needs the young to be stupid?

Stupid error by omission: ObamaCare’s Success Depends On Young People Acting Stupidly – Investors.com.

Here’s the error….

What’s more, ObamaCare guarantees insurance coverage when one of these “young invincibles” does get sick, and at subsidized rates, since the law bans insurers from charging more based on health status.

How long will it take for the young to figure this out, and tell all their Twitter pals how to game the Obama-Care system?

What Investors Business Daily (IBD) says is true, however it’s the error of omission that’s the problem. Everyone repeat after me:


Outside of specific qualifying events, of which getting seriously ill or being injured in an accident are not included, you can only sign up for major medical plans during open enrollment.

When is open enrollment? Glad you asked….

  • The first open enrollment period is extended. It starts October 1st, 2013 and ends March 31st, 2014
  • Subsequent open enrollment periods will be from October 1st through Decmeber 7th

Even if the young invincibles, and everyone else for that matter, can schedule their critical illness diagnosis or major accidents during the open enrollment period there are still issues. Repeat after me…


If you don’t have coverage, the soonest coverage can start is the 1st of the month after you apply. Your application must be in by the 15th of the prior month. So, the soonest coverage can start is 15 days and the longest could be 45 days and that’s if you are in the open enrollment period. No calling from the ambulance and signing up!

What if you are outside of the open enrollment period and need coverage. Repeat after me…


There is no major medical plan available to you period. Other medical insurance plans that are not major medical would not cover pre-existing conditions for at least 1 year and can still decline to offer coverage.

The only options I can see outside of open enrollment is that you manufacture a qualifying event OR perhaps you can become eligible for medicaid.

Note to young invincibles, I’m not saying you’re not getting the “screw job”, you most definitely are. I’m just saying be careful out there and make your decisions with the knowledge above. Arm yourself with some type of coverage, even if it isn’t an Obamacare Qualified Health Plan.


Uninsured uninformed about Obamacare

Gallup: In U.S., 43% of Uninsured Unaware They Must Get Coverage.

The vast majority of Americans, 81%, say they are aware of the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) requirement that most Americans must carry health insurance or pay a fine. Americans who are currently uninsured — those most directly affected by this requirement — are much less likely to be aware of the provision, with 56% saying they know about it and 43% saying they are unaware.


The subgroups that are less likely to be aware of the health insurance requirement are also the subgroups that are least likely to be insured, including Hispanics, blacks, young adults, and those in lower-income households.


I see LOTS of marketing this summer to reach the uninformed uninsured!


Young People Boycott Obamacare?

 Young People Should Say No to Obamacare | National Review Online.



Indeed, the law will require four out of five young Americans to pay more than they otherwise would for health coverage — yet another form of generational theft from young to old that ought to sour young people on government “help.”

What happens if the young invincibles don’t sign up?

If young people boycott Obamacare, the law of adverse selection kicks in. Too few young people in an insurance pool means fewer healthy people to subsidize the sicker people. Costs and premiums will rise more than expected, which will lead to fewer young people signing up and costs going up even more. In insurance jargon, it’s called a death spiral.

… and a young person’s decision process?

Grace-Marie Turner, head of the free-market Galen Institute, has looked at a typical young person’s decision tree on Obamacare. If someone is 27 years old, single, and making $34,000 a year, he will have to fork over more than $300 a month for a basic health-care package — that’s 50 percent more than he is likely paying now. Obamacare would send him a check for $20 a month through its subsidy program, but he or she will still wind up paying some $1,000 a year of after-tax income for basic health insurance. That’s a lot for someone with a decent job who is trying to save money for a house or to start a family.

Depending on the plan, the premium amount mentioned above seems high. That is about the maximum someone with that income could pay for a Silver plan.

The article also mischaracterizes the guaranteed issue portion of Obamacare:

And whether they are slackers, students, or software engineers, young people are smart enough to figure out that they can easily wait to sign up for coverage until after they get sick. Obamacare requires every insurance company to take anyone on as a customer regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

This is NOT, I repeat NOT true. OK, wanted to get your attention. Yes, Obamacare is guaranteed issue, but plans are only issued during open enrollment. The first years open enrollment is extended so it lasts from October 1st 2013 to March 31st 2014. In future years open enrollment will be from October 1st to sometime in December. Now this is very important:


Be careful out there.


Doctors take the road less travelled: Stop accepting insurance

Dr. Michael Ciampi, Portland, ME: South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online — Portland — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine.

Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical.

The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.

The change took effect April 1.


Dr. Ryan Neuhofel, Lawrence, KS:  The Obamacare Revolt: Physicians Fight Back Against the Bureaucratization of Health Care

Dr. Ryan Neuhofel, 31, offers a rare glimpse at what it would be like to go to the doctor without massive government interference in health care. Dr. Neuhofel, based in the college town of Lawrence, Kansas, charges for his services according to an online price list that’s as straightforward as a restaurant menu. A drained abscess runs $30, a pap smear, $40, a 30-minute house call, $100. Strep cultures, glucose tolerance tests, and pregnancy tests are on the house. Neuhofel doesn’t accept insurance. He even barters on occasion with cash-strapped locals. One patient pays with fresh eggs and another with homemade cheese and goat’s milk.


and we also have Dr. Lisa Davidson in Denver, CO:

Dr. Lisa Davidson had 8 years of frustration while running a successful traditional practice in Denver, Colorado. She had 6,000 patients when she decided to stop taking insurance and adopt the same business model as Neuhofel. Her patient list has dropped to about 2,000. She used to spend about 15 minutes with each patient and now it’s more like 45 minutes. “We’re on track to make more money and take better care of our patients,” says Davidson. “It’s a win-win all around.”

Here is the driving issue:

Under Obamacare, more and more doctors are becoming employees of large hospitals, where there will be more control over how they practice medicine. Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Dr. Scott Atlas fears this will cause a brain drain in medicine. “Really smart people want autonomy, and when you take that away it’s naive to think you’re going to get really bright people becoming doctors,” says Atlas. “The best doctors could excel at any profession, so why go into medicine if they won’t have the opportunity to be their best?”

and talk about cost savings…

When she was operating a traditional practice, Davidson witnessed firsthand how our “payment plans for routine expenses” drive up prices and block innovation. She recalls that one insurance company paid $118 for a routine PSA test. Now that her patients pay the bill directly the cost is $18. Insurance used to pay $128 for a bag of IV fluid. Now Davidson doesn’t bother passing on the cost of IV bags because they run $1.50 each.

I sell health insurance, so why would I be for doctors not taking insurance? Having insurance to cover day to day expenses makes no sense. That is not insurance, it is prepayment. What Obamacare does is play Robin Hood with premiums (i.e. subsidies) to tax one group so the other can afford it. That’s not insurance either. Thankfully, at least some doctors are revolting against the insurance & obamacare bureaucracies and cutting costs at the same time. Now THAT is Patient Protection and Affordable Care. Unfortunately the name has already been taken.

I am for insurance to cover major unexpected expenses. That’s what it’s for.



Obamacare Progress – Joe Klein

Obamacare Progress | TIME.com.

In an error ridden article, Joe Klein is happy to report progress in the implementation of Obamacare.

Good news is that the Obamacare application has been reduced from 21 pages to just 3 for a single person. Apparently Joe gets this part right, although we won’t know for a fact until tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow morning the Administration will announce a spiffy, new 3-page application for individuals (which we’ll attach here when it becomes public).* There will be an 7-page application for families (11 including the appendix), but even that one will be far better designed than the initial effort. “We did a lot of work testing words, to come up with simpler language,” an Administration official told me, “and we did time tests. Our average was 7 minutes to fill out the paper version and even less if you do it online.”

But Joe can’t leave good enough alone and me makes the snarky comment:

This compares favorably with applications for private insurance plans, which average about 17 pages (and can go as high as 35).

C’mon Joe, say it ain’t so. Continue reading Obamacare Progress – Joe Klein


Obamacare off the rails

EDITORIAL: Obamacare off the rails – Washington Times.

Obamacare’s shortcomings run far deeper than anything that can be fixed by a slick marketing campaign and fraudulent television commercials. Mrs. Sebelius‘ department expects to spend $4.4 billion by the end of the year on grants to help states set up insurance exchanges. That’s double last year’s estimate; we can expect the final tally to climb yet higher. The state of California alone has spent more than $900 million to establish an Obamacare health care exchange. By contrast, privately funded Esurance set up a nationwide exchange similar to what the government has ordered with an initial outlay of $5.5 million in venture-fund investment in 1999 and a second round of $34 million a few months later.

Government just isn’t very good at health care. Obamacare devotees treated the law like a health care version of “the Field of Dreams,” believing that if they built it, people would come. They haven’t. In addition to spending billions to build it, states are forced to spend tax dollars to cajole prospective customers to sign up. California is paying 20,000 part-time “enrollers” a bounty for every person they push into the system.

Colorado is a state that has “bought in” to the Obamacare “Field of Dreams”. They have even gotten a head start by implementing gender neutral pricing and mandatory maternity coverage. The initial effect of these mandates has been higher insurance premiums leading, most likely, to more uninsured. Undoubtedly, the state has told themselves that when Obamacare kicks in and subsidies become available everyone will sign up. One thing is for sure, the sick will sign up (adverse selection) and those that qualify will enroll into Medicaid, or be enrolled when they show up at the hospital. The rest of us that are affected, primarily individual policyholder or potential individual policy holders, we’ll have to wait and see.


20-Somethings: Obamacare wants YOU

And so do the boomers: To cut health bills, boomers need 20-somethings – Marketwatch.

Baby boomers with individual health plans stand to benefit big-time when public insurance exchanges launch on January 1. The centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, these state-level marketplaces will improve boomers’ access to health coverage and may even bring down underlying premiums for those who don’t qualify for a government subsidy, experts say.

But boomers may not see those cost benefits unless they get some help from a different demographic: Their kids and their friends’ kids. If enough young people stay out of the market, then the risk pool in each group will be older and, presumably, sicker. And that will eventually drive up costs for everyone who remains. “The big factor is: How many young, healthy adults can we get to buy insurance?” said Carrie McLean, senior manager of customer service at the national call center of eHealthInsurance.com, an online insurance marketplace. (emphasis added)

Thank you, thank you younger generation…

What’s more, new limits on the extra amount insurers can charge older people over younger ones will shift costs from boomers to millennials, experts predict. Today, premium differences for the same coverage between a 21-year-old male and a 64-year-old male can easily reach 5-to-1, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that studies health issues. (The difference is a little less pronounced for women.) The new law will limit these age bands, as they’re called, to 3-to-1. The result? Individual policy premiums are expected to stay stable, or even fall, for older consumers buying comparable coverage on the state-level marketplaces, even for those who make too much to qualify for government subsidies.

Fortunately, it’s not a total screw job for the young…

Nearly 10 million of the 11.2 million uninsured 20-somethings will qualify for either Medicaid or some level of premium subsidy, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Young Invincibles, a youth advocacy group. The subsidies apply to anyone with gross incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level—in 2013, $45,960 for an individual, $62,040 for a family or two, $78,120 for a family of three, or $94,200 for a family of four (higher levels apply in Alaska and Hawaii).

You can view a Federal Poverty Level table here. Although not detailed, the lower you place on the table, the higher subsidy you will be eligible for.

Once again, I want to encourage ALL young people to sign up so that the baby boomer generation can use your money. THANK YOU!

Edited: Changed link from Yahoo to source article at Marketwatch.


Hospitals serving the uninsured face challenge under Obamacare

Hospitals serving the uninsured face challenge under Obamacare.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the safety-net hospitals will gain a new source of revenue when millions of the uninsured gain coverage. At the same time, the law’s spending cuts could prove challenging for hospitals that tend to operate with relatively small profit margins.

Uugh, there aren’t supposed to be any uninsured anymore. The hospitals should have thought this through before falling in line behind Obamacare.