How Does Obamacare Affect Those That Already Have Healthcare Coverage?

Todays blog deals with individual/s that already have health insurance through a private plan, Medicare Plan, or an employer plan.  Most individuals that already have health insurance are not affected by the Obamacare Plan unless they opt to purchase coverage through a plan exchange.

One of the main features of ObamaCare is the creation of a new federally financed health care entitlement that will subsidize the insurance premiums for low and moderate income Americans, beginning in 2014.  The amount of the subsidy is inversely related to family income and will be an administered by new state-based ”exchanges” that will replace today’s small group and individual markets for health insurance.  Small company employers may elect to move their high cost company plans to more affordable plans through the exchanges.

Some states are threatening to refuse to set up such exchanges. This would result in the federal government stepping in to accomplish such a requirement.  Medicaid extensions are apparently not required in states that refuse to modify their Medicaid Plans, however, this could produce a significant political backlash and potentially deny an important benefit to those that most need it ….  the very poor.

There has been much misinformation on television and over the internet regarding the effect of Obamacare for individuals that are already insured.  Frankly, Obamacare has little, or no affect on such individuals and families. However, there are some potential benefits in the future for those that are currently insured, such as:

 

  • Children up to the age of twenty-six may remain covered under their parents healthcare plan.  Most plans currently drop children from their parent/s plan after their 19th birthday.
  • If you lose your current health insurance due to a job loss/change, relocation, illness, etc. …  you cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.  Your employer must provide you with healthcare coverage under the employers existing healthcare plan.  You may buy coverage through the exchange if you are self-employed or unemployed.
  • You may keep your current healthcare plan if you prefer.  Nothing in the Obamacare Plan requires you to give up your current health insurance.

The above terms are based upon the best information that I have been able to procure through current available means.  I assume no liability for errors or omissions, however I believe this information to be factual and current.  Beware of the politicians and political “talking heads” who are telling us that Obamacare will greatly raise taxes, add to the National Debt, and cause millions of Americans to lose their current health insurance.

Republicans are using many lies and scare tactics in their attempts to sway public opinion.

I have not found any reliable evidence of reductions in Medicare Benefits, or any tax increases other than a tax increase for those in a very high income bracket.  There will also be penalties for those individuals who chose to take a free ride (not purchase insurance when they can afford to pay for it).   Such penalties may affect up to 1% on the population.

I will try to continue to post other details regarding Obamacare as I am able to study and confirm my sources.   I have no political ties to the Obama campaign.  The objective of this blog site is to share important information regarding a variety of current topics.   Please feel free to comment.  Political statements and Obama bashing will be ignored.

 

26 thoughts on “How Does Obamacare Affect Those That Already Have Healthcare Coverage?

  1. You eased my mind a bit with this. It was of great concern to my husband who gets paid less then going to another job just because of the insurance. He is still worried that, if there is “national” healthcare, his company will drop healthcare coverage altogether and what is now relatively inexpensive coverage for us will become expensive for the same benefits with the Affordable Care Act.

  2. Thanks for your comment Kathryn. I have been very focussed on learning as much as possible about the Affordable Healthcare Act, and I am convinced that anyone with current will not lose their coverage. Employers may however switch to the National Plan which will offer better coverage, fewer restrictions, and lower premiums. It appears to be a win-win for employers and their workers.

    It appears that Employers cannot drop health coverage for their employees once the plan takes full effect. You also will not lose your coverage if your husband changes jobs.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

  3. Thank you for your response. Now I have another question or ‘rumor’ floating around my husband’s work. It is circulating around my husband’s work that the worker will be taxed on the price the company is paying for insurance as a cost added to the worker’s wage. For example, if a worker is being payed 12 dollars an hour and fully covered by insurance through the company and that insurance is estimated worth an extra 15 dollars an hour, the worker will be paying taxes (for Obamacare) on 27 dollars an hour. Is this feasible or just paranoia?

  4. Please don’t be fooled by the false rumors that are circulating regarding a tax on employer paid Health Insurance Premiums under Obamacare. The Insurance companies and the Republican Party are making many false statements in order to convince the public that Obamacare will cost them more money. The Insurance companies don’t like the plan requirements.

    Under Obamacare, Health Insurance companies are required to use 85% of the revenue that they collect from premiums to provide benefits to the plan participants. They can no longer keep raising the rates just to increase their profits. They must prove that the revenues are in fact, used for providing healthcare.

    All Americans will now have much more affordable coverage and much better benefits. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling the truth. No one will be taxed for employer provided health insurance.

  5. Our current health insurance premiums is 30% of our total income, twice as much as our mortgage payment. Will we possibly be able to reduce this cost with Obamacare. This payment has been a huge hardship on our fixed retirement income. Since my husband has medicare our current insurance is a medigap policy for him. I have 5 yrs before I am eligible for medicare.

  6. Hello Christine,

    Thanks for posting your comment. Like many Senior Americans (those over 60) your health insurance can consume much of your fixed income. It’s particularly more critical as we age and our health begins to fail. Before Obamacare, the future was very scary for most seniors who were leaving the workforce and forced to fend for themselves.

    Obamacare has not been fully implemented yet. The program will soon require all larger employers to provide low cost health coverage to their employees or face severe penalties. Other low cost plans will be available to those who can afford the premiums. You and your husband should be able to save a substantial amount when these new plans go into effect. The main objective of Obamacare is to provide affordable benefits for everyone…. especially those who can least afford it. Visit the website link below for all the details regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act.

    http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-facts.php

    I wish the best for you and your husband. God bless,

    462Dave

  7. Can you explain to me why my health insurance premium has gone up 3 times in the last 2 years. The most recent increase being by 8 percent.

  8. Hello Sharon,

    Thanks for your question. Without specific information it is difficult to explain the increases in your healthcare premiums, but I’ll reply based on the most common reason.

    Health Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They typically raise their rates after experiencing higher claims or lower profits in the previous measured period.

    When Obamacare is fully implemented, insurance must provide benefits with 85% of their revenues. This requirement should reduce the amount that is charged to the plan participants for coverage. Other insurance options will also become available through a new National Plan.

    If Obamacare is repealed however, you’ll most likely be at the mercy of the insurance companies.

  9. Kathryn Crook..Sept 8 2012, asked if employer paid premium cost will be counted as taxable, and added to a workers wage. You ignored the question. I ask also; will I have to pay income tax on the insurance premium my employer pays?

  10. Hello Dale. Thanks for your question.

    The response that I gave Kathryn Cook was “Please don’t be fooled by the false rumors regarding taxes that will be applied to employer paid health plans under Obamacare”. They are just scare tactics created by the right wing politicians. Under the current tax code no such taxes exist…now or in the future. Also …. $15.00 dollars per hour for healthcare insurance is a wild fable also created by the right wingers. No employer pays such a premium for healthcare under an employer funded plan that I am aware of. That would cost roughly 30 thousand dollars per year! Pure fantasy!

    462Dave

  11. my question is a real simple one, If employers are currentlly covering the employees that are in mgt. and some of those have family coverage. what effects will obamacare have on those folks? since the new care will only require them to cover the employee?

  12. I currently have insurance through my husbands employer. I didn’t opt for my current companies insurance since I am covered on husbands. Under Obamacare will I have to opt for my employers coverage and be dropped from husbands? Will I have to pay the penalty if I opt out of my current employers coverage?

  13. Thanks for your comment and inquiry. I will answer to the best of my ability based on the current information that I have studied.

    Nobody will be penalized for opting out of an employer healthcare plan. If you elect to opt out of your employer’s plan, your coverage under you husband’s plan is all you need to comply with Obamacare requirements. Your employer’s health plan may currently require all full-time employees to participate in your company plan in order to keep the rates low. I believe that Obamacare addresses that issue and does not allow your employer to force you to join multiple plans.

    I will research further and post specific language regarding this matter.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    462Dave

  14. Those of us who have good employer based healthcare are going to be significantly affected. Our employer pays $10,000 in premiums and we pay $5,000 in premiums. I fully believe that employers will opt to pay the $2,000 fine instead of continuing to pay the $10,000. Who wouldn’t right? We will then have to purchase health insurance on our own. I have always believed that health insurance benefits are part of your pay and when you take our annual salary of $100,000 + $10,000 in premiums paid by our employer less premiums we pay =$105,000. After employers opt out and pay the fine instead of the premium this means a $20,000 cut in our pay. $100,000 – $10,000 that used to be paid by employer – $5,000 we already pay in premiums =$85,000. I really don’t think that the insurance companies are going to lower their premiums just because we have to pay them instead of the employers. I also don’t believe that Obamacare truly addresses the root of the problem which is how much healthcare services cost in the first place. I don’t know how the exchanges are going to make things better. Do you?

  15. Hi Laura, thanks for your comment.

    You are making some very incorrect assumptions. Obamacare will not turn good employers into bad employers. It will actually provide more options for employers who wish to provide healthcare benefits to their employees. Once the full plan kicks in, healthcare costs will drop significantly for all concerned parties. The only losses will be experienced by insurance companies and healthcare providers that have been over-charging the system.

    I will not be surprised to see your share of the cost drop by 1/2 or be eliminated altogether. Please don’t believe the negative nay-sayers …… mostly insurance company lobbyists.

    Thanks for your comment.

    462Dave

  16. Hi Dave.

    I ‘am a self employed contractor and paying $1550.00 per month for health care for my wife,college student son[22] and myself . Its probably close to 33% of my income,Will Obamacare help me?

    Thank you.

    Gordon

  17. Hello Gordon… Thanks for your comment and question.

    The rate that you currently pay for healthcare insurance is on the high end for basic coverage. You didn’t indicate what kind of plan you have… Is dental and vision care included? … Do you or your wife have a serious illness or pre-existing condition?

    The rates for the National Healthcare Plan under Obamacare have not yet been announced. The plan should work similarly to the Medicare Plan. Medicare provides 80% coverage (many doctors and hospitals accept the Medicare payments as payment-in-full except for a modest co-payment. Medicare currently costs each participant $99.00 – $115.00, depending on when you entered the plan.

    If you have major health issues you can purchase supplemental insurance to cover what Medicare does not pay. It appears to me that you will greatly benefit by switching to the National Plan if my assumptions are correct. We will all be learning more in the coming months as the details are made public.

    Good luck to you both and you business. I was a Construction Contractor for years and I appreciate how hard you work in order to succeed. Take care,

    462Dave

  18. Hello, I am wondering if I am covered by my husbands medical, dental and vision insurance,will my employer only be able to offer me 29 hours a week in order for them not to pay a penalty on me? Also if someone who is not insured through our employer, has purchased private insurance already b4 obamacare has gone into affect is his hours going to be cut to 29 hours a week. Our schedules are bi-weekly how many hours can we b scheduled in 2 weeks without are employer getting penalized? Thank you for your time. Jamie

  19. Hello Jamie,

    You will not be affected in any way because you already have coverage through your husband’s plan. Employers may avoid (without penalty) paying for health insurance for an employee that is already is covered by another plan. There is no need for the employer to reduce your hours to avoid penalties.

    Dave

  20. Dave, I have a good friend who is retired a long time ago from the large oil company ARAMCO, he has what you might call a Cadillac health care plan where ARAMCO pay 100% of everything. He is worried, and rightly so if the Obamacare act will affect his plan in any way what-so-ever, can you please allay any fears he might have.
    Sincerely.
    Tony

  21. Thanks for the comment, Tony.

    I don’t believe that your friend has any reason to fear regarding his current health plan. Obamacare is designed to provide un-insured individuals and families the opportunity to have affordable healthcare coverage. It is not designed to affect or change anything for those that already are covered by an employer funded (or subsidized) health plan. It only affects a small segment people who don’t have a health plan. The intent is to prevent such individuals from using the emergency rooms at the local hospitals every time they need treatment.

  22. Dave.
    I am a truck driver and I own and drive my own truck, I currently have no health insurance, will I be considered a small business and have to wait until 2014 to get into Obamacare ? How will Obamacare effect the likes of me with no employees.

    I am leased onto a trucking company but they do not offer me company insurance as I am considered a contractor.
    Will I be able to register come October, or will my employment status be a problem.

  23. Hello Tony,

    Thanks for your question. According to the latest information available, you should be able to register for health insurance through your State Insurance Marketplace in October 2013. Coverage should begin in January 2014. The rates have not yet been announced, but it is presumed by some to be similar to the rates of current Medicare coverage. If so… the plans will very affordable for most families. I’ll post more information as it becomes available.

  24. Thanks again Dave, there is so much conflicting information out there. I am Irish myself and I think Obamacare is a first step for the USA to catch up with the Europe and Canada, it is sad that we never got the public option, I hope the act can be amended sometime and we get the public option, after all if it is good enough for the politicians it should be available to the ordinary citizen.

  25. hi there, I currently work for a small company that cant afford to offer its employees the obamacare insurance. in return they are cutting people hours to under 30/wk because of it. i myself am already covered under my husbands insurance thru the national guard, and don’t need the obamacare insurance. things were tight before when i was making 40 hrs/wk now im down to 20 sum. is there a way around this other then working 2 part time jobs?
    and for my coworker, who doesn’t have insurance but plans on getting the obamacare on her own, her hours are also being affected. how do we get around this so we can still live a normal life and not get affected by this?

  26. Hi Tawnya,

    What your company is doing makes no sense. Small companies with less than 50 employees are exempt from the Obamacare requirements. However, the small employers can receive significant discounts for employee healthcare benefits. There is no reason for such employers to cut workers hours or make other cutbacks unless their business is failing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>