The Scoop on Obamacare – Part 2


As March 31st deadline to sign up for Obamacare is near its end, it’s only appropriate to take a look at what it means to have Obamacare. Notwithstanding the dance in Washington that the number of applicants who signed up for the plan is much, much higher than expected – 5 million were expected; as of this writing, over 6 million have signed up – many questions will need to be answered. The website still needs improvement, but most importantly the act itself needs changes. As with anything in life, it takes time to work out the kinks. However, one must not discard or reject something because of its flaws.

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Before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) aka Obamacare, the expression pre-existing conditions sent chills down the spinal cord of anyone who applied for health coverage with a past or existing illness. Acne, Asthma and even domestic abuse (no kidding!) were considered pre-existing conditions by Health Insurers.

Before the passage of Obamacare, any child who was over 18 and not attending school or 21 would either have to buy individual coverage on his own or be without health insurance. Individual coverage for a healthy 19-year individual, before Obamacare, varied between $3,000 and $5,500 annually.

Before the passage of Obamacare, Health Insurance Companies (Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Health, Cigna, Kaiser Foundation, Humana, etc.) or Health Insurers approved, rejected or discontinued coverage with the sole purpose of maximizing profits, very often at the cost of human lives.

Before the passage of Obamacare, health insurance applicants with pre-existing conditions paid a very high premium with limited benefit; they lived under the constant fear of coverage cancellation, medical procedures not covered by their policy.

Before the passage of Obamacare, there was a cap to the amount of coverage any Health Insurer would disburse for a patient in a lifetime. According to HHS, half of the people living in US have some form of pre-existing conditions. It was good news for Health Insurance companies. Obamacare has slightly turned the table. “Pre-existing conditions” are no longer scary; there is no more cap to amount of lifetime coverage; all children under 26 are now fully covered.

 

Watch this column as we delve into the details of the Pros & Cons of Obamacare.

 

Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney

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