Poll

How has the ACA (obamacare) affected your health insurance costs so far?

I've seen an increase in costs
77 (36.7%)
I've seen a decrease in costs
40 (19%)
I've seen no change in costs
65 (31%)
I don't know.
28 (13.3%)

Total Members Voted: 202

Author Topic: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?  (Read 46848 times)

JohnGalt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 482
  • Age: 34
  • Location: TX
How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« on: April 25, 2014, 02:42:53 PM »
Just got an email from my CFO letting me know that, because healthcare costs are now based on age (not sure why that wasn't the case before, would have thought age was already part of the risk underwriting process for the insurance company), my premiums are going down ~45%.  Since the company just pays a flat 75% of the total premium cost, that should mean the total cost for my plan went down that same amount.  As far as I know - this is for the same coverage as before. 

Has anyone else had their health insurance impacted by the ACA yet? 

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 02:59:55 PM »
Just got an email from my CFO letting me know that, because healthcare costs are now based on age (not sure why that wasn't the case before, would have thought age was already part of the risk underwriting process for the insurance company), my premiums are going down ~45%. 

My company did the same thing, but in 2010 to get in on a grandfathered plan for ACA purposes.  My premiums dropped around 20% for same coverage. 

They're currently exploring HDHP options to see how much they could subsidize our HSA yearly in that case, so that might become an option for us soon, which I would be a fan of as currently only Mr PoP has an HDHP with a subsidized HSA, so we are fairly limited as to how much we can stow away in the HSA account each year.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4336
  • Location: CT
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 03:07:15 PM »
Weird that he's saying they're just factoring age. My previous employer's healthcare costs had been increasing over the last four years primarily due to the general age of our workforce according to our management and the healthcare companies we've had.

JohnGalt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 482
  • Age: 34
  • Location: TX
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 03:13:20 PM »
Weird that he's saying they're just factoring age. My previous employer's healthcare costs had been increasing over the last four years primarily due to the general age of our workforce according to our management and the healthcare companies we've had.

Yeah it seemed weird to me too.  "As part of this act, medical insurance costs are now based on age as opposed to household formation." is how it was worded. 

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 03:53:55 PM »
Personally, mine only went up a couple dollars a week, but that's due to my employer taking the big hit and absorbing nearly all the of the increase (company was socked with a 30% increase overall due to ACA).

JohnGalt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 482
  • Age: 34
  • Location: TX
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 03:59:03 PM »
I was curious so I asked what the larger impact to the company was. 

Response was basically that healthcare costs for the company as a whole were up about 6% due to ACA. 

Oh and he mentioned that my max out of pocket expenses went up about 25% so the 45% decreased costs wasn't a complete net gain for me.  Though I've never come anywhere close to hitting max out of pocket so that's more of an increased risk factor than a realized change for me.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4859
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 04:43:34 PM »
Premium and deductible stayed the same, slightly more coverage, slightly higher coinsurance after deductible (85/15 instead of 90/10). Out of pocket max stayed the same.

TreeTired

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
  • Age: 135
  • Location: North Carolina
  • I think we can make it
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2014, 07:14:41 PM »
We are private pay because neither of us work.    We have very good coverage from BCBS and were paying just under $1k for the 2 of us, then when the premium went up to over $1k per month we increased our deductible and copay and our premium went down to $678 for 2013.   Now, in 2014 our ACA compliant plan has a list price of over $1500 per month but based on my estimated low income we are only paying a subsidized rate of $309.    I didn't write the law, but at the moment it is helping us.

frugalmom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 08:44:28 PM »
My husband carries our insurance and works for a large corporation.  The company was going to have to pay a penalty on our insurance coverage because we had a cadillac plan.

Our premiums went up approximately $1000 a year or 30% (not an issue)
Our deductible remains at $250 per person (no issue)
Lots of things are free outside of the deductible and co-insurance.
Our co-insurance remains at 80/20 (no issue)

Our annual family out of pocket went from $4000 to $25K (this is an issue)

Potentially if I am able to get pregnant again (and the pregnancy spans 2 insurance years) I will be paying 50K.  [I'm basically healthy but because of some chronic issues, doctors want lots of testing/monitoring just in case]

I actually told my husband if one of the non-executives gets sick with something like cancer, he should no longer send flowers or another feel good gift.  Since an admin is going to be subject to the same out of pocket maximum, I told him to just get a nice card and put cash inside and tell them to apply it to their out of pocket payment.

I'm really not loving the ACA at the moment.


Cheddar Stacker

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3715
  • Age: 41
  • Location: USA
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 09:10:12 PM »
our company saw a 2% reduction overall but it was different for everyone. Mine went down slightly. Most of the 20 somethings saw an increase and most of the 40+ people saw a nice decline due to the new age disparity rules.

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 09:10:41 PM »
My company used to have something that wasn't exactly insurance, administered by an insurance company.  The way it worked was when we needed health care, we'd give our provider our insurance card, and the administrator would bill my company.  It's not insurance because there was nothing about risk --it was more like contracting out price negotiation and billing.  My family went something like eight years, and squeezed out two kids, without seeing any medical bills.

Not any more.  Under the ACA, that would result in a Cadillac tax.  So today, we have an HDHP with an HSA.  Our employer contributes to the HSA every year, and we can contribute more up to the IRS maximum.  We still don't pay premiums or anything.

Last year we had about $3k in medical expenses.  The combined employer contribution, and tax benefit from being able to contribute pretax money to the HSA add up to a financial benefit of about $4.5k at our marginal tax rate.

Yes.  My costs went down, from zero.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 09:12:32 PM by msilenus »

spoonman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2329
  • Location: PNW
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2014, 09:59:19 PM »
My premium went down by only $10 for the year, but I'm just glad it didn't go up.  This is the first year it hasn't gone up.

Rube

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2014, 08:48:03 AM »
Premium has stayed the same for 3 years on the HSA. My employer offered PPO and HSA and we switched to HSA because the premium had gone up so much on the PPO. Now they only offer HSA. I liked the HSA since we don't go to the doctor much except for a miscarriage with some complications last year.

In previous years we may have actually hit the 7.5% deductible for non-reimbursed medical expenses on our tax return but because of ACA it's now 10%.  We didn't even calculate it.

The HSA premium has stayed the same but my employer cut their cash contribution by 60% or so over the last few years and the out of pocket max has doubled. 

My wife went back to FT late last year so we went with her insurance which is PPO and cheaper than we were paying with mine. I suspect that her employer will have some sort of HDHP option by next year.


BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3235
  • Location: WDC
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2014, 10:51:07 AM »
My premium decreased, but we're not exactly talking apples-to-apples until we factor in the availability of doctors that will accept the plan, ability to choose out-of-network, deductibles, etc. 
I haven't been to a doctor yet, but I can definitely tell you this:  I've been with the same healthcare company for years on an independent plan (not group coverage).  With ACA, I still use the same company, but I had to purchase through the exchange and seem to be treated as a group with all the other people in that group.  Customer service sucks.   Everyone I know (in the spendy world) is paying extra for concierge doctor service (pay a monthly fee to put the doctor on retainer so you get priority treatment).    If I get sick, I won't want to spend my time in coach with all the cattle.  I'll upgrade to first class.

CarDude

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Beep Beep!
    • The CCD
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2014, 11:17:54 AM »
   If I get sick, I won't want to spend my time in coach with all the cattle.  I'll upgrade to first class.

And this is why we need single payer.

stevesteve

  • Guest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2014, 02:09:18 PM »
My husband carries our insurance and works for a large corporation.  The company was going to have to pay a penalty on our insurance coverage because we had a cadillac plan.

Our premiums went up approximately $1000 a year or 30% (not an issue)
Our deductible remains at $250 per person (no issue)
Lots of things are free outside of the deductible and co-insurance.
Our co-insurance remains at 80/20 (no issue)

Our annual family out of pocket went from $4000 to $25K (this is an issue)

Potentially if I am able to get pregnant again (and the pregnancy spans 2 insurance years) I will be paying 50K.  [I'm basically healthy but because of some chronic issues, doctors want lots of testing/monitoring just in case]

I actually told my husband if one of the non-executives gets sick with something like cancer, he should no longer send flowers or another feel good gift.  Since an admin is going to be subject to the same out of pocket maximum, I told him to just get a nice card and put cash inside and tell them to apply it to their out of pocket payment.

I'm really not loving the ACA at the moment.

That's just your husband's company using it as an excuse to save money.  The Cadillac tax doesn't kick in until 2017 and the out of pocket maximum for a family is $12,700 (on the exchanges).

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2014, 07:51:23 PM »
Went up slightly, for the first time in years. They've kept it level mainly by doing wellness programs tied into insurance and presumably also absorbing some of the hit. DW's company generally does good by their employees.

chucklesmcgee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2014, 08:00:06 PM »
My premiums roughly quadrupled. That's what happens when you're young and on a bare-bones plan and the ACA steps in and prevents such things.

genesismachine

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2014, 08:07:37 PM »
My work has a terrible policy, ~1000/month for my wife and I. If I chose similar coverage on the exchanges, I'd be paying $300/month. That's $700/month less. And I work for a very large engineering company, so this isn't some McDonald's policy or something.

Except, I switched to an even more basic HDHP and I now pay 190/month (without any subsidies, this is just due to the exchanges existing, and providing competition). I love it. So yeah, my health care costs went down ~80%.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3391
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2014, 09:00:33 PM »
   If I get sick, I won't want to spend my time in coach with all the cattle.  I'll upgrade to first class.

And this is why we need single payer.

Would you keep BlueHouse from using his own cash to visit, for instance Harley Street style docs in a single payer scenario? Or would you limit him to the one-size-fits-all that I believe is the Canadian model? If my information is correct (and please let  me know if it is not) no physicians in Canada are allowed to accept private-pay clients.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2014, 06:28:44 PM »
My work has a terrible policy, ~1000/month for my wife and I. If I chose similar coverage on the exchanges, I'd be paying $300/month. That's $700/month less. And I work for a very large engineering company, so this isn't some McDonald's policy or something.

Funny, reminds me of when I was laid off from work a number of years ago.  I had the option of going on COBRA at $600/month.  I was able to call up my insurance agent and get signed up on my own policy with better coverage for only $60/month.  :-)  Certain industries get especially hard hit due to the risks in them.  I was in the office, but it was still technically "construction industry"!

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2014, 06:43:52 PM »
My costs increased... or maybe they've decreased depending on how you look at it. I am ER'd on a fairly low taxable income so pay for my own health insurance. My self-funded Blue Cross plan was cancelled as of Jan. 1st, 2014 and the new plan I got had a monthly premium increase three-times the former costs and a greater annual out of pocket costs by about $2,500 (from $4000 to $6500 annually).  It will now cost me over $14,000/year in premiums and deducibles BEFORE my insurance company has to start paying.  I do not qualify for subsidies because I am TOO low income, however I live in a Medicaid expanded state so could get that if I choose now that they no longer require means testing of assets. I don't wish to get Medicaid though. So, being that I have a military service-connected disability, I can use the VA hospital for free or low cost and that's what I intend to do. While I don't like doing that anymore than I would have liked going on Medicaid, I really don't like paying the new much higher private insurance costs I have too either. If I couldn't use the VA like most people, or wasn't in a Medicaid expanded state like many people, and had my same low income (mustachian income!) then I would be SOL and have to pay the increased amount (which is more than I live on per year), do without coverage, or go out a get a job (OH THE HORROR!)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 06:59:28 PM by Spartana »

nawhite

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1062
  • Location: An RV somewhere in the West
    • The Reckless Choice
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2014, 07:26:00 AM »
My costs went down because I changed jobs, totally unrelated to ACA. My wife though, has been on private insurance for years (we have VERY different medical needs).

This year the plans changed drastically with ACA but we were able to get what looked like a much better plan for her for only a little bit more money. The problem is that our insurer is now realizing that they underestimated the cost of that plan and got tons more sign ups on the exchange that they didn't expect because the plan was the best value available. So they are slowly, month after month, changing the policies making prescriptions more expensive every month. Its now not so good of a deal (its about as good as we had last year for slightly more cost).

socaso

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2014, 08:14:53 AM »
Premium went up less than $5/month
Deductible went up from $2500 to $3000
Office visits went up from $30 to $40
 This is the private market policy I have had for a couple of years that covers my son and myself. Due to our income level and not being eligible for work insurance we should have qualified for ACA but Covered CA has absolutely horrible service. I spent months trying to get them on the phone and never got through. I tried going to the certified counselors only to be told that they didn't know how to fill out the forms and didn't want to risk making a mistake. ACA is a very sore subject with me because I feel extremely betrayed by it. I did everything I was supposed to do and the CA market didn't hold up their end of the deal and I got left out in the cold. I've been meaning to call them and see if something can't get worked out. Additionally I read that before the close of open enrollment Covered CA got something like $150 million to help them expand their call centers and it still didn't help. Their lines were so busy you couldn't even sit on hold and I tried to email them a couple of times and never got a response.

Daleth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1201
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2014, 09:40:55 AM »
My husband carries our insurance and works for a large corporation.  The company was going to have to pay a penalty on our insurance coverage because we had a cadillac plan.

Our premiums went up approximately $1000 a year or 30% (not an issue)
Our deductible remains at $250 per person (no issue)
Lots of things are free outside of the deductible and co-insurance.
Our co-insurance remains at 80/20 (no issue)

Our annual family out of pocket went from $4000 to $25K (this is an issue)

Potentially if I am able to get pregnant again (and the pregnancy spans 2 insurance years) I will be paying 50K.  [I'm basically healthy but because of some chronic issues, doctors want lots of testing/monitoring just in case]

I actually told my husband if one of the non-executives gets sick with something like cancer, he should no longer send flowers or another feel good gift.  Since an admin is going to be subject to the same out of pocket maximum, I told him to just get a nice card and put cash inside and tell them to apply it to their out of pocket payment.

I'm really not loving the ACA at the moment.

If I'm not mistaken, out of pocket maxes that high will only be allowed for one year, and they only exist now in plans that have a separate out of pocket max for medication (does your plan have  $12.5k max for drugs and a $12.5k max for everything else?). In 2015 all plans have to comply with the ACA requirement that a family's out of pocket max cannot exceed $12,700.
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Features/Insuring-Your-Health/2013/061113-Michelle-Andrews-out-of-pocket-costs.aspx

homeymomma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 335
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2014, 12:46:38 PM »
Our monthly cost went up by about $100. We buy individual insurance. Our individual deductible went down from $1500 to $1000, but we now have a 10% coinsurance, up to $7500 as a family. This is not good since I'm pregnant! On the other hand, my pregnancy and delivery are covered, which was nearly impossible to find before. When we had our first baby, we had to shop around to find a company that even offered a maternity rider (not advertised! We had to call!). We had to pay an extra $70/ mo for the rider AND wait a 6 month waiting period before conceiving. It all worked out because we followed the rules but what a pain in the ass!

To get 0% coinsurance this time would have cost us $640 per month for my family of three. Probably would have been worth it just this year because of the pregnancy/delivery, but we couldn't bring ourselves do it because it was a $200 jump from last years plan!

Yuck. ACA did a lot of great things but it's far from solved all the problems of the individual insurance market.

Also, related: my mom, who "retired early" but wasn't actually financially ready to do so, has delayed getting a job by moving in with a boyfriend she met online. She has a ton of assets and has sold some real estate given to her by me grandparents in order to prolong her unemployment stint. She lives in Vermont now and qualified for Medicaid there! She'll be having a knee surgery this year 100% on the governments dime, even though she has PlENTY of money to pay for it. This is based simply on the fact that she is not employed and therefore has no income. This seems incredibly unfair to me, as a young person with no assets and a family to support.

What do you all think?

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2014, 01:38:23 PM »
 

Also, related: my mom, who "retired early" but wasn't actually financially ready to do so, has delayed getting a job by moving in with a boyfriend she met online. She has a ton of assets and has sold some real estate given to her by me grandparents in order to prolong her unemployment stint. She lives in Vermont now and qualified for Medicaid there! She'll be having a knee surgery this year 100% on the governments dime, even though she has PlENTY of money to pay for it. This is based simply on the fact that she is not employed and therefore has no income. This seems incredibly unfair to me, as a young person with no assets and a family to support.

What do you all think?
I also have a problem with this even though I am in the same situation as your Mom - I CAN go on Medicaid because my "taxable" income is low (although I have continued to buy and pay for my own policy at a greatly increased rate). It doesn't matter that if someone might have a gazillion in tax deferred or tax free investments, or they own 20 luxury homes, boats, cars, RVs and motorcycles, all that matters is my" taxable" income after certain deductions (MAGI). I personally think, that unless we have universal health insurance for everyone regardless of income or assets, then the ACA should require means testing for income AND assets in determining how much in subsidies and/or Medicaid someone can get. Heck even the VA hospitals require means testing for assets and income for any treatments a Vet gets besides something that they incurred while in the service. Why should higher income earners have to pay more in taxes to cover those who have the means to provide coverage for themselves? Especially when those higher earners can't get subsidies themselves.  No one should have to pay for my health insurance coverage so that I can retire early and play beach volleyball all day long - especially when I have money to pay "affordable" costs.

As a side question: does anyone know if someone who voluntarily quits their job and gave up the company health insurance to retire early can even apply for subsidies or Medicaid?  I thought there was some rule against that.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 01:40:36 PM by Spartana »

brandino29

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 321
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2014, 02:17:07 PM »
As a health policy analyst, I feel compelled to jump in just to point out one thing --- healthcare costs have been rising an average of 10% for year for ever 20 years, in fact, it was exactly the reason we needed serious health reform (that and the fact that tens of millions of people were uninsured). 

Businesses and insurance companies have done a great job of passing off increases as a result of the ACA but in many cases its misleading, outright lies in some instances.  Health care inflation has been about double regular inflation for a long time, so it's not so easy to disentangle your health care costs going up due to the ACA or just general cost growth. 

There are certainly winners and losers in any sort of reform and there are millions in the U.S. today who have seen premiums and/or deductibles go up as a result of the ACA, but there are also millions who are seeing their rates go down or are obtaining health insurance for the first time.  The real impact of the ACA will not be known for years to come when we can determine, and no longer speculate, whether health care cost growth has slowed down and whether more people have access to care. 

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1386
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2014, 02:46:28 PM »
As a health policy analyst, I feel compelled to jump in just to point out one thing --- healthcare costs have been rising an average of 10% for year for ever 20 years, in fact, it was exactly the reason we needed serious health reform (that and the fact that tens of millions of people were uninsured). 

Businesses and insurance companies have done a great job of passing off increases as a result of the ACA but in many cases its misleading, outright lies in some instances.  Health care inflation has been about double regular inflation for a long time, so it's not so easy to disentangle your health care costs going up due to the ACA or just general cost growth. 

There are certainly winners and losers in any sort of reform and there are millions in the U.S. today who have seen premiums and/or deductibles go up as a result of the ACA, but there are also millions who are seeing their rates go down or are obtaining health insurance for the first time.  The real impact of the ACA will not be known for years to come when we can determine, and no longer speculate, whether health care cost growth has slowed down and whether more people have access to care.

+1.  Employers have been blowing a giant cloud of smoke up their employees' asses.  Deductible up?  Premiums up?  Copays up?  Oh, yeah, it was Obamacare, sure...

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1886
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2014, 03:50:12 PM »
As a side question: does anyone know if someone who voluntarily quits their job and gave up the company health insurance to retire early can even apply for subsidies or Medicaid?  I thought there was some rule against that.

ACA subsidies are not (currently) means tested (and there's no difference for those who were shoved out of the work force and those who have chosen to drop out). 

Medicaid is still means tested in some states, like NC, AFAIK.

rusty

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: North Carolina
    • My Medigap Consultant
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2014, 06:43:24 PM »
As a broker, I wrote about 200+ policies for ACA.  I have seen both sides.  Some jumping up and down with delight, others boiling over with anger about their new premiums.  Large percentage increases and decreases.  It's all a reflection of your access to group coverage, your household size, your household income, and where you live.  Those determine what you pay for your premium.  If you get a subsidy, the federal government is paying the rest (ie tax payers).  I can say that 75% of all the premium I wrote was subsidy.  How heavily will the new plans be used and how we pay for it are the next big questions. 

As far as groups, i think a lot of it has to do with how large the group is.  If it's over 100, I believe they often self insure, which does not require them to follow some ACA guidelines. 

http://www.benefitspro.com/2014/02/26/self-insured-plans-seek-ppaca-protection
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exempts self-insured plans from some of the new insurance rules that apply to insured group health programs. "

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3391
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2014, 07:36:05 PM »

What do you all think?

It's stupid and this country can't afford that stupidity, that's what I think. And I plan to take full advantage of that because when I retire I can keep my income low and get lotsa subsidies, pulling money for vacations and luxuries out of my stache.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 07:38:29 PM by iris lily »

johnhenry

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2014, 03:31:27 PM »
Looks like I'm late to the party.  I support the ACA as a flawed first-step towards a single payer system.  Hopefully we get there sooner rather than later.

I'm married, 2 kids.  I'm employed, wife is going back to school.  My employer offers good coverage.  On the exchange it would be a silver or gold plan.  Employer subsidizes almost 100% for each employee, but no subsidy for adding other family.  So to insure myself through work is nearly free.  But to insure the whole family is nearly $10K per year (over $800/mo)!!  Granted that's pre-tax money, but still outragous!!  Before the ACA, we were stuck paying that.  Ya, we could have opted out and let my wife or kids go with no insurance.  As a woman of child-bearing age, my wife couldn't get a plan cheaper that offered maternity coverage (before ACA).  We weren't brave enough to risk getting pregnant w no insurance for her, because of what a normal pregnancy/deliver would have set us back.

After the ACA, we were able to choose from plans to cover my wife and 2 kids.  Even accounting for the loss of buying with pre-tax money, we could save a few hundred dollars a year by going with a plan similar to what my employer offered, or saving several thousand (around $3500/year) by going a "bronze" plan offered by a new coop insurance company that started doing business in my state after the ACA was passed.

Our household income is well below the 400% of FPL, at which ACA subsidies go away.  So the frustrating part is: If I was self-employed or worked at a company small enough to avoid offering health insurance, our entire family of 4 could buy an affordable plan through the exchange AND get a subsidy.  But because I (and wife and kids thru me) have access to that plan, we are not eligible for the subsidized premiums, even though the cost of ~$10K is much more than the 9.5% or whatever of household income that the law uses as the benchmark to determine "affordable".  It's called the "kid glitch" because the law is only concerned with whether the employer-offered coverage is "affordable" when measuring the cost of covering the individual employee!  It completely ignores the cost to add other family to the plan.  The sad part is, there are employees here that make half what I make, have more than 2 kids, but have the same bad options.  Sign up the family for $10K a year or buy insurance on the exchange, but with no subsidy! no matter the proximity to the federal poverty level.

Gin1984

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4775
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2014, 03:46:25 PM »
My husband carries our insurance and works for a large corporation.  The company was going to have to pay a penalty on our insurance coverage because we had a cadillac plan.

Our premiums went up approximately $1000 a year or 30% (not an issue)
Our deductible remains at $250 per person (no issue)
Lots of things are free outside of the deductible and co-insurance.
Our co-insurance remains at 80/20 (no issue)

Our annual family out of pocket went from $4000 to $25K (this is an issue)

Potentially if I am able to get pregnant again (and the pregnancy spans 2 insurance years) I will be paying 50K.  [I'm basically healthy but because of some chronic issues, doctors want lots of testing/monitoring just in case]

I actually told my husband if one of the non-executives gets sick with something like cancer, he should no longer send flowers or another feel good gift.  Since an admin is going to be subject to the same out of pocket maximum, I told him to just get a nice card and put cash inside and tell them to apply it to their out of pocket payment.

I'm really not loving the ACA at the moment.
That is not because of the ACA, in fact, part of the ACA was to decrease unaffordable out of pocket expenses. 
"The maximum out-of-pocket cost limit for any individual Marketplace plan for 2014 can be no more than $6,350 for an individual plan and $12,700 for a family plan."
https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/out-of-pocket-maximum-limit/
That is his employer doing it, and blaming the ACA.

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2014, 03:51:05 PM »
Our household income is well below the 400% of FPL, at which ACA subsidies go away.  So the frustrating part is: If I was self-employed or worked at a company small enough to avoid offering health insurance, our entire family of 4 could buy an affordable plan through the exchange AND get a subsidy.  But because I (and wife and kids thru me) have access to that plan, we are not eligible for the subsidized premiums, even though the cost of ~$10K is much more than the 9.5% or whatever of household income that the law uses as the benchmark to determine "affordable".  It's called the "kid glitch" because the law is only concerned with whether the employer-offered coverage is "affordable" when measuring the cost of covering the individual employee!  It completely ignores the cost to add other family to the plan.  The sad part is, there are employees here that make half what I make, have more than 2 kids, but have the same bad options.  Sign up the family for $10K a year or buy insurance on the exchange, but with no subsidy! no matter the proximity to the federal poverty level.

I hadn't heard about the kid glitch.  Thanks for sharing!  It's clear that this is one of the holes in the ACA that needs to be fixed.  That said, at least the ACA guarantees access to plans for your family members, even if it doesn't subsidize them.

ENL

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2014, 07:42:37 PM »
Up or down is irrelevant for us as our plans have changed twice now this year.  My family of three lost their health coverage through my husband's work when he lost his teaching job at the beginning of the summer.  Of course, as a teacher we knew he was not going to be able to find employment for several months.  If it weren't for the ACA we would have had to risk going uninsured during that time frame since I'm sure we could not have afforded the pre-ACA premiums.  This way we signed up for coverage on the exchange for a few months then cancelled when he got coverage through his new teaching job.

Thank God for Obamacare.

Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 29
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2014, 07:58:36 PM »
I've seen a short-term decrease due to being under 26 and on my parents' plan.

Long-term, though, the cost is huge - after I turn 26. My work pays me $2K/year NOT to enroll in any paid health plan. All I need is a catastrophic plan, but the absolute cheapest on the exchanges is about $2K/ year (as enrolling in a work plans costs additional money, this saves me some, but not a ton). And the even catastrophic plans are just too much care! I don't need a 6K deductible and 3 free visits a year, but the plan is charging me for that. I'd be fine with a 20K deductible and no free visits - all I need insurance for is if I get cancer or something similarly catastrophic. And my guess is such a plan would cost more around $1K/year, but Obamacare doesn't allow it to exist.

Finally, of course now I'm paying for seniors and women, both groups which have higher expenses than me. Young males got the raw deal in the ACA. But of course nobody cares that the government discriminates against men in this way. It's illegal to discriminate against women in health insurance, even if they're riskier, but perfectly fine to discriminate against men in car insurance, just because men are riskier. Double standards! Note both forms of insurance are required by law.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 08:13:19 PM by Beric01 »

kite

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 606
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2014, 08:49:04 PM »
Coverage is the same, premiums are doubled. 

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2014, 11:27:32 PM »


Finally, of course now I'm paying for seniors and women, both groups which have higher expenses than me. Young males got the raw deal in the ACA. But of course nobody cares that the government discriminates against men in this way. It's illegal to discriminate against women in health insurance, even if they're riskier, but perfectly fine to discriminate against men in car insurance, just because men are riskier. Double standards! Note both forms of insurance are required by law.
I believe men, especially young men, have the most injuries needing medical care for car, motorcycle, boating, skiing, biking, etc... accidents as well as team and competitive sports related injuries (as well as dumb ass stuff like jumping off roofs just for the heck of it kinds of injuries) - all things that can be very costly for insurers to cover.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 11:30:00 PM by Spartana »

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2014, 12:14:45 AM »


Finally, of course now I'm paying for seniors and women, both groups which have higher expenses than me. Young males got the raw deal in the ACA. But of course nobody cares that the government discriminates against men in this way. It's illegal to discriminate against women in health insurance, even if they're riskier, but perfectly fine to discriminate against men in car insurance, just because men are riskier. Double standards! Note both forms of insurance are required by law.
I believe men, especially young men, have the most injuries needing medical care for car, motorcycle, boating, skiing, biking, etc... accidents as well as team and competitive sports related injuries (as well as dumb ass stuff like jumping off roofs just for the heck of it kinds of injuries) - all things that can be very costly for insurers to cover.

Nope.  Women have significantly higher health care costs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361028/

Actually, I should say that even with those injuries, young men have the lowest medical costs of any group: http://www.amcp.org/data/jmcp/JMCPSupp_April08_S2-S6.pdf
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 12:20:02 AM by beltim »

Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 29
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2014, 12:50:09 AM »


Finally, of course now I'm paying for seniors and women, both groups which have higher expenses than me. Young males got the raw deal in the ACA. But of course nobody cares that the government discriminates against men in this way. It's illegal to discriminate against women in health insurance, even if they're riskier, but perfectly fine to discriminate against men in car insurance, just because men are riskier. Double standards! Note both forms of insurance are required by law.
I believe men, especially young men, have the most injuries needing medical care for car, motorcycle, boating, skiing, biking, etc... accidents as well as team and competitive sports related injuries (as well as dumb ass stuff like jumping off roofs just for the heck of it kinds of injuries) - all things that can be very costly for insurers to cover.

Nope.  Women have significantly higher health care costs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361028/

Actually, I should say that even with those injuries, young men have the lowest medical costs of any group: http://www.amcp.org/data/jmcp/JMCPSupp_April08_S2-S6.pdf

Women are 3x as likely to visit the doctor regularly. They also live longer, meaning they can die from conditions that men don't even live long enough to experience.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3235
  • Location: WDC
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2014, 04:39:42 AM »
Our household income is well below the 400% of FPL, at which ACA subsidies go away.  So the frustrating part is: If I was self-employed or worked at a company small enough to avoid offering health insurance, our entire family of 4 could buy an affordable plan through the exchange AND get a subsidy.  But because I (and wife and kids thru me) have access to that plan, we are not eligible for the subsidized premiums, even though the cost of ~$10K is much more than the 9.5% or whatever of household income that the law uses as the benchmark to determine "affordable".  It's called the "kid glitch" because the law is only concerned with whether the employer-offered coverage is "affordable" when measuring the cost of covering the individual employee!  It completely ignores the cost to add other family to the plan.  The sad part is, there are employees here that make half what I make, have more than 2 kids, but have the same bad options.  Sign up the family for $10K a year or buy insurance on the exchange, but with no subsidy! no matter the proximity to the federal poverty level.

I hadn't heard about the kid glitch.  Thanks for sharing!  It's clear that this is one of the holes in the ACA that needs to be fixed.  That said, at least the ACA guarantees access to plans for your family members, even if it doesn't subsidize them.
Why is this a glitch?  It sounds as if he can afford it if there are others here who make half of what he makes.  If you can afford it, why on earth would you be looking for a handout in the form of a subsidy?  (Thats welfare!).  I know it's no longer PC to feel shame in accepting handouts, but if you can afford the cost (even if you feel the pain) then you should be ashamed to ask for a handout!  Subsidies are for people who really need them. Not for people who want to save money so they can retire early.

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2014, 06:26:05 AM »
I hadn't heard about the kid glitch.  Thanks for sharing!  It's clear that this is one of the holes in the ACA that needs to be fixed.  That said, at least the ACA guarantees access to plans for your family members, even if it doesn't subsidize them.
Why is this a glitch?  It sounds as if he can afford it if there are others here who make half of what he makes.  If you can afford it, why on earth would you be looking for a handout in the form of a subsidy?  (Thats welfare!).  I know it's no longer PC to feel shame in accepting handouts, but if you can afford the cost (even if you feel the pain) then you should be ashamed to ask for a handout!  Subsidies are for people who really need them. Not for people who want to save money so they can retire early.

It's a glitch because the ACA sets up a threshold for affordable care (premiums should not cost more than 9.5% of income), but then doesn't apply this metric equally to all groups.

Also, there's lots of subsidies in the tax code to incentivize particular behavior that are not anything close to welfare.  Do you take advantage of a 401k?  The child tax credit?  Home mortgage interest deduction?  These are all subsidies to encourage specific behaviors, and it's hypocritical to take those and criticize those who take ACA subsidies.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3235
  • Location: WDC
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2014, 06:34:42 AM »
I hadn't heard about the kid glitch.  Thanks for sharing!  It's clear that this is one of the holes in the ACA that needs to be fixed.  That said, at least the ACA guarantees access to plans for your family members, even if it doesn't subsidize them.
Why is this a glitch?  It sounds as if he can afford it if there are others here who make half of what he makes.  If you can afford it, why on earth would you be looking for a handout in the form of a subsidy?  (Thats welfare!).  I know it's no longer PC to feel shame in accepting handouts, but if you can afford the cost (even if you feel the pain) then you should be ashamed to ask for a handout!  Subsidies are for people who really need them. Not for people who want to save money so they can retire early.

It's a glitch because the ACA sets up a threshold for affordable care (premiums should not cost more than 9.5% of income), but then doesn't apply this metric equally to all groups.

Also, there's lots of subsidies in the tax code to incentivize particular behavior that are not anything close to welfare.  Do you take advantage of a 401k?  The child tax credit?  Home mortgage interest deduction?  These are all subsidies to encourage specific behaviors, and it's hypocritical to take those and criticize those who take ACA subsidies.
Yes I do take advantage of 401k and mortgage interest deduction. I also accepted Survivor income benefits and took advantage of govt loans and grants for college.
For some reason these feel as if they're in a different category to me. When I was a child, my family qualified for free or subsidized lunches, but we never took them because we didn't want charity. (Or the appearance of it). We never went hungry but we also never had the toys that other kids in the neighborhood did either. I don't know why these seem different to me, but they do. I'm willing to have an open mind, but something still smacks of a handout. Feel free to change my mind.

usmarine1975

  • Guest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2014, 06:58:02 AM »
I got a letter from the VA telling me my healthcare needs were covered and that the VA qualifies and I wouldn't get a fine if I didn't have other insurance.  I guess I have free healthcare.  My family, myself included is currently covered under my wives plan at her office.  My understanding is that our cost went up, as did our deductible, and the companies cost also went up.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3391
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2014, 07:38:16 AM »
I just got the news yesterday from our HR guy at work that our health care costs are going up 6% next year. That's a modest jump, given that it is health care. So no, I've not seen an increase due to Obamacare, this is a typical annual increase for us.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 07:31:54 PM by iris lily »

historienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2014, 09:24:28 AM »
Yes I do take advantage of 401k and mortgage interest deduction. I also accepted Survivor income benefits and took advantage of govt loans and grants for college.
For some reason these feel as if they're in a different category to me. When I was a child, my family qualified for free or subsidized lunches, but we never took them because we didn't want charity. (Or the appearance of it). We never went hungry but we also never had the toys that other kids in the neighborhood did either. I don't know why these seem different to me, but they do. I'm willing to have an open mind, but something still smacks of a handout. Feel free to change my mind.

Those are all government subsidies.  As a fellow taxpayer, I am paying for your subsidized student loans and grants, and I am paying higher taxes to subsidize the house that you bought.   Taking some government subsidies while criticizing others for taking different ones seems extremely hypocritical to me.  In all cases, our elected representatives have decided that it's worth providing government benefits to encourage certain behavior or to help people access services that they otherwise would find it difficult to afford. 

As a taxpayer and citizen, I don't agree with all of these policy choices.  I find the mortgage interest deduction ridiculous (even though I just bought a house and it will save me lots of money this year).  However, I would never expect someone to turn it down on principle just because they could afford to pay their mortgage without claiming the deduction! 

FWIW, the reason the "kid glitch" is a glitch is because it was not the intention of the people who drafted the legislation.  It was a drafting error that was unfortunately only noticed after the legislation was enacted.  In a less controversial piece of legislation, it probably would have been changed already.  However, because the ACA is so controversial, it's proven politically impossible to change it at all (Republicans are not interested in voting on bills for minor changes, since they prefer to repeal it entirely).  As a result, we are stuck with this kind of issue.

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2014, 09:29:42 AM »
Also, there's lots of subsidies in the tax code to incentivize particular behavior that are not anything close to welfare.  Do you take advantage of a 401k?  The child tax credit?  Home mortgage interest deduction?  These are all subsidies to encourage specific behaviors, and it's hypocritical to take those and criticize those who take ACA subsidies.
Yes I do take advantage of 401k and mortgage interest deduction. I also accepted Survivor income benefits and took advantage of govt loans and grants for college.
For some reason these feel as if they're in a different category to me. When I was a child, my family qualified for free or subsidized lunches, but we never took them because we didn't want charity. (Or the appearance of it). We never went hungry but we also never had the toys that other kids in the neighborhood did either. I don't know why these seem different to me, but they do. I'm willing to have an open mind, but something still smacks of a handout. Feel free to change my mind.

Without knowing why you feel they're in a different category, I'm not sure what to say.  There's really no difference among those various types of government aid.  The burden of proof is on you to establish that health insurance subsidies are any different than the government "handouts" you eagerly accept.

johnhenry

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2014, 09:50:42 AM »
Our household income is well below the 400% of FPL, at which ACA subsidies go away.  So the frustrating part is: If I was self-employed or worked at a company small enough to avoid offering health insurance, our entire family of 4 could buy an affordable plan through the exchange AND get a subsidy.  But because I (and wife and kids thru me) have access to that plan, we are not eligible for the subsidized premiums, even though the cost of ~$10K is much more than the 9.5% or whatever of household income that the law uses as the benchmark to determine "affordable".  It's called the "kid glitch" because the law is only concerned with whether the employer-offered coverage is "affordable" when measuring the cost of covering the individual employee!  It completely ignores the cost to add other family to the plan.  The sad part is, there are employees here that make half what I make, have more than 2 kids, but have the same bad options.  Sign up the family for $10K a year or buy insurance on the exchange, but with no subsidy! no matter the proximity to the federal poverty level.

I hadn't heard about the kid glitch.  Thanks for sharing!  It's clear that this is one of the holes in the ACA that needs to be fixed.  That said, at least the ACA guarantees access to plans for your family members, even if it doesn't subsidize them.
Why is this a glitch?  It sounds as if he can afford it if there are others here who make half of what he makes.  If you can afford it, why on earth would you be looking for a handout in the form of a subsidy?  (Thats welfare!).  I know it's no longer PC to feel shame in accepting handouts, but if you can afford the cost (even if you feel the pain) then you should be ashamed to ask for a handout!  Subsidies are for people who really need them. Not for people who want to save money so they can retire early.

Keep in mind that the ACA only concerns itself with providing subsidies to those families between 133% and 400% of the family poverty level!  That's right your family can earn up 4 times as much as a family at the poverty line and still get some subsidy for insurance premiums!!   That makes for a pretty large group of folks eligible for "handouts".  Don't forget there's a whole other government program to help families below 133% of the poverty line.

While we are on that subject, the "subsidy cliff" at 400% of the FPL is another unfair consequence of the ACA.  The ACA subsidy brackets are not marginal like tax brackets.  It your family's income comes in 398% of the poverty level, you get a significant subsidy.  Earn 402% and you get nothing.

BlueHouse, I hope you can see that the discussion here is about fairness of this law using anecdotes from affected participants.  There are guys at my company that have good jobs that pay $16 an hour, about twice the minimum wage.  By the way, the FPL for a family of 4 is $23,850, so at $33,280, they far from "poor".  They have always been "lucky" enough to work for a company that provides health insurance for them and their family.  The problem for folks like that, before the ACA, was that they had to pay $10K per year!! to buy insurance for their family (and that's with the employer "subsidizing" (there's your dirty word) the employee portion.  A family of 4, lucky enough to even have access to an employer plan, living on twice the minimum wage has to pay roughly 1/3 of their gross income for insurance.  Surely that scenario is enough for you to recognize there was a need for health insurance reform.  Surely you can see why a family in that situation would welcome reform. Surely you can see why those of us making more would see the need for reform, whether it affected us directly or not.

But that same family, after the ACA, is in the situation I first described.  Why does it matter to you whether that man is on this early retirement forum chatting with us, trying to save for early retirement or just trying to feed his family?  After the ACA, his options are more numerous, but no better.  He still has to pay the same (higher actually) to cover his family on is employer plan.  The cost to insure just himself on his work plan would cost him about .5% of their household gross.  The cost to insure his family would be 30.4% of gross!!  Is that affordable?  It doesn't meet 9.5% limit outlined by the ACA.  But do to the glitch, it's not the 30.4% that is used to measure.  It is the .5%.  Yes, the ACA now provides for an exchange for this family to go buy coverage for all 4 (or just the spouse and kids).  But they are forced to pay the sticker price AND lose the benefit of paying with pre-tax money.  If this couple is older, they will have no chance of buying an equivalent plan and saving on premiums.  If they are very young there's a chance they may save some.

This family could live next door to family of 4 in which the working spouse also makes $16 an hour, but works for an employer small enough to not provide insurance. This family gets to buy insurance on the exchange and get a "subsidy" to ensure that their cost is not more than 9.5% of their gross household income. Do you think this family should show some pride and pass on this subsidy like you passed on free lunch?  Or do you think they should feel guilty but take the handout the just like you take yours for your mortgage interest?

It's a shame that "subsidy" is such a loaded word that it has become the tree that hides the forest from you.  As beltim points out, there countless "tax incentives" out there for home owners, retirement savers, etc that are in effect subsidies.  Money is nothing but a tax credit anyway.  Which means every tax incentive you take advantage of is just as much a handout as an the free lunch you avoided due to avoid shame or maintain your pride.


johnhenry

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How has the ACA affected your current healthcare costs?
« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2014, 10:34:09 AM »
Quote
Subsidies are for people who really need them. Not for people who want to save money so they can retire early.

You should run a few test scenarios and see how the ACA had a HUGE positive impact on those who were already in a position to retire early.  As long as a family has enough saved to live off savings, but have that savings (or savings + some work) add up to income somewhere between 133 and 400% of the FPL they can get health insurance that's nearly completely subsidized.  Because of the outrageous cost of individual insurance policies before the ACA, there were many potential early retirees who were forced to maintain employment just so they could retain access to not-quite-so-outrageously-priced plans.  With the ACA, the savings they realized from cheaper policies on the exchange, plus the subsidy for a "low-income" household put many of these households in a position to go ahead and retire early rather than working just for health insurance as they'd been doing.

It's more than a little unfair that the law was such a boon to those in this situation, while providing no help at all to those in the same situation as that family, 10 to 15 years earlier!

Again, I'm not bashing the ACA.  It was a huge step in the right direction.  There are just some major gaps that need filled.