What would you do? Obamacare, privacy, etc.

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lmcdel's picture
lmcdel
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 13 2012
Posts: 19
What would you do? Obamacare, privacy, etc.

We need to buy health insurance as our short-term policy is ending. Currently, our monthly income is low (since quitting jobs and relocating) but our liquid assets are high (thanks to selling our home and moving to a lower cost area). Our choices are:

a.  buy a policy on the exchange for our state. The choices for a family of 4 start at $1150/month, with individual deductibles of $5000k/year each and family deductibles of $12000/year.

b.  obtain the very same policy at a steeply discounted price through Obamacare. Approx $400/month.  

This is a huge annual difference for us - unsubsidized healthcare will eat up between 25-33% of our monthly income, leading us to continually eat into our house sale savings. Hopefully we will soon figure out how to invest much of it, whether in a local biz, or something else, but it may be awhile.

To get the Obamacare subsidy, we first have to apply for our state's medicaid program. Once we are rejected because our income is (slightly) too high to qualify for medicaid, then we can get the Obamacare subsidy.

However, the PRICE of that subsidy? Providing every personal and financial fact imaginable. They want to know what kind of and how much liquid and other assets each household member has, where they are located, the last 2 digits of each bank account, contents of safe deposit boxes, proceeds from house sales, etc.

As I started entering all this, including all of our social security numbers, kids' info, emails, phone, etc, I got a sick feeling. It just felt wrong to be putting all this info in one place.  On the other hand, the govt has, or can get, all of it anyways, right?  My gut says, don't do it, suck it up and pay the extra $9k per year instead of laying out the whole picture of our lives.  Just feeling very vulnerable, and not wanting to alert Uncle Sam to the location/amount of our assets - and wondering if I am being foolish if I pass up this subsidy.

I welcome any viewpoints or perspectives on this double-edged sword. There are so many of them these days, aren't there?

 

 

 

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1627
Amazing

Wow, that's amazing!  I didn't realize they asked for that much information, and so sensitive.  I'm no computer whizz but I've heard experts say your information on the site will not be safe by industry standards.  Could someone use the information for identity theft, or worse, against you?

Does the site ask about political activities?  Does it ask whether you own guns?  

Maybe it would be easier if you told them you were illegal residents in the US?

I wish I had something to offer, except my empathy for being in such a quandry.  Good luck.

Tom

"Welcome to the Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor."

lmcdel's picture
lmcdel
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 13 2012
Posts: 19
What the site asks

Thanks Tom.

I don't know what-all the site asks, because I stopped after the first two sections "People" and "Liquid Assets".   

Then they ask for info on Other Assets, Job Income, Other Income, Housing Bills and Other Bills.

I really doubt it will include things like politics and guns. Those questions wait til you actually meet with a doctor, and now they have to ask their patient about guns. At least in Texas - my friend in TX just reported that her doctor asked her that.

Anybody see the 60 Minutes episode on privacy last night? It's worse than I thought - even cell phone apps like "Angry Birds" track your whereabouts as you move through your day. Marketers sell lists of Americans with specific diseases - you can buy a list of people who suffer from alcoholism, for example. 

That's why I am wrestling with the decision of whether I have any privacy still to protect, or if it's all out there and I should just go ahead and take advantage of this subsidy, at least til we build our income up more.

 

Sterling Cornaby's picture
Sterling Cornaby
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2012
Posts: 152
Wow, that's a catch.

Wow, that's a catch.  Two choices, door #1 obamacare and loss of personal information (freedom) or door #2 and loss of $9k per year (lots of money).  I can see door #1 is really driving a hard bargain; I can plainly see writing on the wall for private healthcare from your example.

The question is there a door #3? 

All I can do is tell you my attempts at door #3, its not exactly as far as I would like to be but I am pushing new ideas of how to do thing in my head over time.  Right now, I work at a company that has a health plan very similar in price the one you can buy; deductibles of $6k/year each person and family deductibles of $9/year.    One other part is that I do the health savings account, so I do have that benefit, but I pay the first $6k of all my health care for the year, 100%.  The company pays ~1500$ month for my family.  

So, I have decided at $6k/year each person, that it makes no sense to stay 'in network'.  I basically have changed my mindset that that  '$6k' is for the bad emergency stuff I can't control and I will negotiate everything else for cash. If I go to the doctor, I will negotiate the price then and there; I will not go through my company's heathcare provider if at all possible; and I will go to places that negotiation is possible.  One  case point, my wife had a baby 18 months ago at a midwife center; we pay under $3k for all her care including the birth.  If we would have gone to the hospital, it would of cost us over $6k (new person!) and more money slushing around the industry for what?

Also, our family has started eating very healthy; we are eating very little 'bad' carbs, and much more expensive food such as fresh fruits and vegetables.  We also are getting better at going out an playing, riding bikes (exercising).   I am hoping that this will keep us more on the healthy side.

 

Door #3 is hard, it is like going through the woods. For you, I don't know what door #3 is.  Point is you are looking for it, and its likely going to take some time.  I hope you get a few more comments that might give you a few more ideas to glean from.     

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
I took door #3..........

....a long, long time ago and have yet to regret it. Being self employed since the late '80s, my wife and I have both "gone bare" regarding health insurance. Well, except for that one year in the late '90's where we took out a policy and subsequently canceled it after they raised our rates every quarter by $80 per month. Since then we've favorably negotiated everything medical. For instance, my wife broke a bone in her foot. Surgery: almost $10k. We asked "What if we pay cash?" After the blank stare and a consult with the office manager, the receptionist/office staffer came back and quoted a $4,500 price tag. We offered $2,500 cash (green folding money) up front and the balance in 90 days with the pink slip to my truck as collateral. "The pink slip won't be necessary. See you in ninety days" she said.  We've done that twice with similar results. However we live a very healthy lifestyle, just like Sterling does. Living healthfully saves a bundle. I know that a serious illness could be calamitous, but at $1,700 to $2,000 a year for our family I figured I'll take the calculated risk. So far so good---fingers crossed.

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 28 2009
Posts: 863
Obamacare subsidy

 

The only people who are going to benefit from Obamacare are people who get a whopping big subsidy. It's a no-brainer. Hold your nose and fill out the paper work.  The govt already has access to any info they want through the NSA anyway. Privacy is an illusion. Make the govt work for you, for a change. 

Liberty Sponsor's picture
Liberty Sponsor
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 10 2014
Posts: 1
There really is a door 3 you can get somethin much better

Take a look at ACAout dot com. You can get out of the ACA and get good cost effective healthcare. You really can. Or you can give all of your info to a guide who may be a convicted pervert or a convicted terrorist. You can type all your info in on a computer and hope. You can pay a zillion dollars in premiums. Or you can chose door 3. Really check out the site you will be pleasantly surprised. It is legal. It is part of the ACA law.

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 320
Pot, meet Kettle

I know this is a little off the direct topic in this thread, but I had a wonderful ROTFLMAO moment today when I saw this posting:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/feinstein-cia-sear...

Possibly another definition of irony?  The first paragraph is all you need to read.

badScooter's picture
badScooter
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 20 2011
Posts: 152
a third option

This is a possiblity:

http://www.chministries.org/

It is one of three "health care ministries", aka not-for-profit medical coops, which meets the requirements of an exemption from the so-called "individual mandate" tax.  The other two are a google search to find.

I consider anybody taking this "subsidy" from the government-industrial collusion to be nothing but a thief by the way, operating under the dubious legitimacy of an utterly corrupt regime, and stealing directly from a disenfranchised but productive base, some of who are most definitely not governed by their own consent.  That is why I personally would not use that horrific "service" if left any choice whatever.

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 428
Obamacare isn't really insurance

Even if you sign up you are still subject to the $6K deductible. If your bills exceeed the cost of the deductible and premiums they will raise your premium to match your bills. I would not sign up from the ACA website since its been hacked and all of your personal information will be stolen. 

Obamacare is a step to bring in the Single payer system. But I don't think the Single payer system is coming anytime soon, as even if Congress approved it, it will probably take 3 to 5 years to implement. FWIW: I am not a supporter of Single Payer Medical care, since it doesn't work.

I think Medical Concierge are starting to popup because Obamacare.Not only is Obamacare painful for patients its even more painful for doctors that must file even more paper work and are limited in treatment options and expenses. See if any concieges are available in your area that meet your budget.

Oldguy65's picture
Oldguy65
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2017
Posts: 2
ACA

      I just retired last year at 65 and am on medicare @ 141 mo. no SS yet. My wife is younger and needed insurance.   If you have some cash to live on you can get ACA pretty cheap. However you need to have an income of > 138% of the poverty level to qualify without asset verification.  I have cash,roth and 401K accounts. So here's what I did. With you your wife and kids the 138% limit is somewhere between 30 and 40K.  I discussed this with my financial advisor and he had no idea you could do this!

1. Applied for ACA with an estimated income of $20,500 for 2017.  I will wait until later in the year to see how much reportable dividend etc. this year and do a Roth conversion on the remainder.

2. The ACA monthly payment varies depending on reportable income over > 138% limit with $20,500 being a little over 138%.   Policy is $600 deductable including meds with $6 copay for office visit.

3. The Monthly cost varies depending on reportable income and for my wife and the cost would be $972 if we had an income of over $70,000. The cost with an income of $20,500 is $3.80 for a savings of 968.20 a month.  This equates to a yearly savings of $11,618.40.

4. I would need to have 232K invested at 5% to get 11618.40 a year.  Actually more as it would raise my income!  You have to settle up at the end of the year if your income changes.

5. The trick is to get your income a little over 138% of the federal poverty level to eliminate the asset verification requirement.  Don't know how long this will last but I;m taking it a year at a time!  Waiting till 70 to take SS if I can.  I'll post the letter to the ACA that worked if you would like.

Oldguy65's picture
Oldguy65
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2017
Posts: 2
ACA

      I just retired last year at 65 and am on medicare @ 141 mo. no SS yet. My wife is younger and needed insurance.   If you have some cash to live on you can get ACA pretty cheap. However you need to have an income of > 138% of the poverty level to qualify without asset verification.  I have cash,roth and 401K accounts. So here's what I did. With you your wife and kids the 138% limit is somewhere between 30 and 40K.  I discussed this with my financial advisor and he had no idea you could do this!

1. Applied for ACA with an estimated income of $20,500 for 2017.  I will wait until later in the year to see how much reportable dividend etc. this year and do a Roth conversion on the remainder.

2. The ACA monthly payment varies depending on reportable income over > 138% limit with $20,500 being a little over 138%.   Policy is $600 deductable including meds with $6 copay for office visit.

3. The Monthly cost varies depending on reportable income and for my wife and the cost would be $972 if we had an income of over $70,000. The cost with an income of $20,500 is $3.80 for a savings of 968.20 a month.  This equates to a yearly savings of $11,618.40.

4. I would need to have 232K invested at 5% to get 11618.40 a year.  Actually more as it would raise my income!  You have to settle up at the end of the year if your income changes.

5. The trick is to get your income a little over 138% of the federal poverty level to eliminate the asset verification requirement.  Don't know how long this will last but I;m taking it a year at a time!  Waiting till 70 to take SS if I can.  I'll post the letter to the ACA that worked if you would like.

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