Follow up to previous blog: Commissioner Kreidler and the problems with Obamacare implementation in Washington state

December 4, 2013

Having received several responses to the previous blog posted by Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research, one Washington resident wanted to share his personal story.

Eric is a sole proprietor of a local small family business. His daughter serves as his CFO and Partner. Eric has been on a MODA insurance plan, Bronze, but because of the requirements of the Insurance Commissioner, MODA was unable to get their plans approved. As a result, MODA dropped the Bronze plan to comply with the new federal regulations and Eric received his non-renewal letter, which offered the Silver or Gold MODA plans, which are plans outside of the state system, but he didn't qualify for a subsidy. In order to keep a MODA plan, Eric's monthly out-of-pocket payment would increase from $825 for he and his wife, to roughly $1,400 per month, with the deductible remianing at $3,000.

Eric was also offered an "attractive" alternative Lifewise plan, approved by the state program, which would increase the deductible to $6,250 with a maximum payout of $6,250, at the "affordable" tune of $1,075 per month. That equals a 30 percent increase in monthly payments and a 110 percent increase in the deductible. The icing on the cake is that the policy maximm drops from $8,000 to $6,250 if the insurance is used.

For Eric, his monthly payment for health insurance is not the second largest item in his monthly budget, coming in closely behind his mortgage payments. His dreams of early retirement are a no go for him. 

Eric and his family are not the only ones facing a situation like this. Many Washington residents are looking at similar situations. 290,000 people in Washington state have received insurance cancellation notices. And when President Obama announced that people would be able to keep their cancelled health coverage for another year, Commission Kreidler declared Washington state would not be allowing our residents to benefit from that.

Do you have a story you would like to share? Please contact us by email at lshin [at] washingtonpolicy [dot] org.

Comments

Obamacare makes me ill

I can relate to this story. I am looking at $1450/year more than current premiums for my wife and kids - for a plan that requires us to pay a lot more in deductibles and copays than we pay today.

I also have a small business that employs 11 people and I have not heard yet what my rates will be for 2014. It is already December! I already know that I will have to get my employees to accept higher deductibles and higher copays to absorb any increased cost - I am stretched to the max and can't take it anymore.

I wrote to the Congressional Delegation. Of course I received a form letter back from Maria Cantwell espousing all of the reasons why Obamacare is wonderful - as if the 20-year-old staffer that opened my mail even read it.

I am just sick over what this will do to my family's finances, yet I also feel that millions of voters don't care because they are getting subsidies.