How does the ACA affect you?

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It's open enrollment time for us, so I thought I'd run a few numbers. Very few, actually, but here they are:

In 2010, my contribution to my health care plans was about $281 a pay period, after employer credits. It's what is now classified as a Platinum plan.

In 2011, it was $321 a pay period. That $50 is the Platinum Plan premium increase that came in with the ACA, plus whatever health care cost increases were that year. Essentially, that's my penalty for picking a "Cadillac Plan" through my insurer.

In 2012, it was $320 a pay period.

In 2013, it was $316 a pay period.

In 2014, it will be $327 a pay period.

All years have the same elections, and I'm not including after-tax stuff like legal benefits, life insurance, etc.

So all in all, I'm in one of the groups that is supposedly horribly adversely affected by the ACA, and it's costing me about $50 a pay period to maintain my coverage as I like it. And as you can see, my costs have flatlined in the last few years, with about 16% increase since 2010 overall (maybe 3% per year on average, compared to about a 5% average yearly rate reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2013). So I figure I'm doing okay. Certainly Obamacare has not forced me off of my preferred health plan or priced it out of my reach, nor has it debilitated the company I work for (the employer contribution is proportionately the same as it was in 2010, eyeball estimate).

How has it helped or hindered you? This is not a thread for theoreticals, but for practical, here's what it did to my life stuff.

So far, not at all directly; my sister, on the other hand, is going to go from about $600/month for individual coverage out of pocket to about $150-200/month.

Currently, it doesn't.

My employer is a large corporation that self-insures. And my health benefits are pretty darned good. I'm also union-represented, and my union contract (which specifies my healthcare benefits) runs until 2016.

So, long story short, ACA won't affect me until 2016 at the earliest. I have no idea what's going to happen then, but I suspect that the impact on me will be minimal. Had good healthcare before it, will continue to have good healthcare after it (assuming continued employment!).

Family? single? Two-people?

I have already posted my plan in the Obamacare thread. I'll repost here.

"Remember how I said HSA was no good for me and my family earlier in this thread.

Never mind. I think it is the best I can get through my employer.

It is $140 per month for my family plus I have to add money (pre-tax) into my account (HSA). I think I'll add around $350 a month. So that means it will be around $490 a month (premium and HSA). The max I can add into HSA is around $545 a month $6550 a year.

HSA deductible is $5000 and max out of pocket is $7000.

The HMO plan is $920 a month. $0 and $3,000.
The low deductible PPO plan is $1100 a month. $1,000 and $7,000.
The HRA (Health Reimbursement Account) PPO is $500 a month. $4,000 and $8,000. $1,000 pre funded into HRA.

These are definitely not worth it if my max out of pocket is $7000 through the HSA.

Am I missing something? Should I stick with the HSA? Should I max out the HSA?"

I am not paying anything into my plan this year. Just into the HSA account. $480 a month.

So my premiums are going up from $0 to $140. I want to stay around $480 for health insurance so I will add $350 a month into the HSA account.

This analysis is all family plan numbers.

I know single plan is $0 for the "Platinum" and "Gold" plans.

My company will be going through layoffs next week, depending on how that shakes out the ACA will either not affect me at all or will be a profound benefit to me.

Good luck, Yonder.

Good luck, Yonder!

My semi-monthly withholdings went from $387 to $417, but that is because I chose a slightly higher HCSA value this year. Without that, it would be a wash.

Thanks guys!

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Good luck, Yonder!

My semi-monthly withholdings went from $387 to $417, but that is because I chose a slightly higher HCSA value this year. Without that, it would be a wash.

Is HCSA same as HSA? Never heard of that acronym. But did a google search and it seems similar if not the same.

My company has a generous health plan that they cover in entirety for all of their employers. So I'm unaffected, as of right now.

Good luck Yonder!

Yonder wrote:

Thanks guys!

Duh.. took me a while to figure this out. Good luck. I thought other people were getting laid off ... not you.

goman wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Good luck, Yonder!

My semi-monthly withholdings went from $387 to $417, but that is because I chose a slightly higher HCSA value this year. Without that, it would be a wash.

Is HCSA same as HSA? Never heard of that acronym. But did a google search and it seems similar if not the same.

Yes, same as HSA. My company uses acronym HCSA in policies because HSA is apparently used for something else already.

goman wrote:
Yonder wrote:

Thanks guys!

Duh.. took me a while to figure this out. Good luck. I thought other people were getting laid off ... not you.

I don't know yet! It's part of the air of mystery and excitement. We'll find out sometime next week who stays and who goes!

Not noticably. I've been getting the high-deductible HSA plan, covering myself, my wife, and my son. Not counting life insurance etc. my per-pay premiums will go up 14% next year, but that's mostly due to opting in to the vision plan, which I've skipped for the last few years. Discounting that, my premiums went up 6%, which is about the same increase as last year.

My costs went up a little, but not in any drastic way. Just a few bucks. There were some people here worried that since we decided to cover partners as well as spouses, our costs would skyrocket.

My contribution has been steady at around $210 per pay period for the last few years. No bad symptoms so far, but I fully expect scarab beetles to come bursting out of my loved ones at any moment.

Jonman wrote:

Currently, it doesn't.

My employer is a large corporation that self-insures. And my health benefits are pretty darned good. I'm also union-represented, and my union contract (which specifies my healthcare benefits) runs until 2016.

So, long story short, ACA won't affect me until 2016 at the earliest. I have no idea what's going to happen then, but I suspect that the impact on me will be minimal. Had good healthcare before it, will continue to have good healthcare after it (assuming continued employment!).

Same here but probably a smaller corporation and our contact is up for renegotiation in 2014.

Nothing is changing for us. It's staying at $16 for us and $30 for smokers.

It hasn't impacted me yet, but it probably will soon. I work for a large organization that has good health benefits, even for someone who isn't union-represented. However, the company has recently changed their virtual-work/telecommuting policy, so that means starting sometime next summer, I'll either need to:

  • Commute to Maui or Oahu three days per week to work in an office filled with people working on none of the same stuff that I am. So, basically, I'd be telecommuting still, but doing it from a company office. Or...
  • ... I'll be laid off/fired/asked to quit.

I have no interest in making that commute, so I'll be unemployed sometime next year. One of the programs that I've put in a lot of work on over the last few years has said that they're going to try to appeal to upper-management to keep me employed, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway, once I'm unemployed, it's either the exchanges or the health plan at the hospital my wife works for. We've looked at their health plans before, and they're both pathetic and expensive. I'm going to guess that even without subsidies the exchange will offer better coverage for cheaper, so that's likely where I'll end up getting coverage from.

Since I work for an entity that buys into a 100,000 person pool, the ACA doesn't affect me much on the pricing level.

However, it certainly does on the yearly and lifetime caps and the pre-existing conditions.

Beginning Jan. 1, this bought of neurological issues can never be used against me in future insurance rates. And, trust me, my current claims are fast approaching $100,000 for just this clinical issue. If I had to by insurance on the open market, I would pretty much be uninsurable.

Our open enrollment period just began as well. Changes to our health plan include:

* Increase of deductibles from both individual and families.
* Increase of office visit co-pays.
* Increase in brand name prescription drug co-pays.
* Decrease in generic prescription drug co-pays.

Our plan is still premium-free. However the company did say they expect their health care costs to increase from $7-$10 million a year beginning in 2018 when the "Cadillac plan tax" comes into affect.

Wifey works for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We pay a ridiculously small amount for family healthcare. So the ACA not only endangers my wife's employment but also our miniscule monthly health insurance premium.

We pay for our own insurance so I'm waiting to see what happens.

MacBrave wrote:

Our open enrollment period just began as well. Changes to our health plan include:

* Increase of deductibles from both individual and families.
* Increase of office visit co-pays.
* Increase in brand name prescription drug co-pays.
* Decrease in generic prescription drug co-pays.

Our plan is still premium-free. However the company did say they expect their health care costs to increase from $7-$10 million a year beginning in 2018 when the "Cadillac plan tax" comes into affect.

That's impressive. You should probably be asking some hard questions about why they're making people at your level make up for the "Cadillac plan tax" given that it's pretty clear you don't have such a plan. (For example, you have co-pays and deductibles.) It would seem more reasonable to hand that cost over to the people who actually have such plans, since they're likely to make a lot more money than people like you.

(P.S. Your plan is not premium free: Your employer is paying for it, and it likely costs somewhere around $1300 a month. The amount that's being covered by your employer is very relevant when comparing with things that aren't subsidized by an employer, and very important when understanding how much your work is actually compensating you for your work.)

FSeven wrote:

Wifey works for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We pay a ridiculously small amount for family healthcare. So the ACA not only endangers my wife's employment but also our miniscule monthly health insurance premium.

Why would it threaten her employment? I thought those guys were in the state and Federal markets just like other insurance companies?

Nomad wrote:

We pay for our own insurance so I'm waiting to see what happens.

Does your state have exchanges, or are you dependent on the non-working Federal one?

Robear wrote:
FSeven wrote:

Wifey works for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We pay a ridiculously small amount for family healthcare. So the ACA not only endangers my wife's employment but also our miniscule monthly health insurance premium.

Why would it threaten her employment? I thought those guys were in the state and Federal markets just like other insurance companies?

I was going to ask the same question. The ACA is driving 50 million new customers to insurance providers like Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Any company that's going to pick up a couple million new customers isn't going to be firing employees, its going to be hiring.

BC/BS is hiring in Michigan!

Robear wrote:
Nomad wrote:

We pay for our own insurance so I'm waiting to see what happens.

Does your state have exchanges, or are you dependent on the non-working Federal one?

We are stuck with the federal one. I logged on, filled out the forms (twice, because apparently there was a technical issue the first time and it didn't take) and am awaiting the response. It's been a few weeks.

From what I understand there is no need to go through the exchanges at all. The exchanges are there for subsidized premiums based off your income.

If you go through a broker you can also get insurance. You won't get subsidized premiums though even if you qualify going through a broker.

The healthcare.gov girl with dark hair is pretty hot, so she helped any erectile dysfunction I might have had. Hooray ACA!

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