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Old 11-01-2013, 02:57 PM  
Loneiguana Loneiguana is offline
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Another Obamacare horror story debunked

The vast majority of Horror Stories are being Dubunked.

This is just one example.

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Deborah Cavallaro is a hard-working real estate agent in the Westchester suburb of Los Angeles who has been featured prominently on a round of news shows lately, talking about how badly Obamacare is going to cost her when her existing plan gets canceled and she has to find a replacement.

She says she's angry at President Obama for having promised that people who like their health plans could keep them, when hers is getting canceled for not meeting Obamacare's standards.

"Please explain to me," she told Maria Bartiromo on CNBC Wednesday, "how my plan is a 'substandard' plan when ... I'd be paying more for the exchange plans than I am currently paying by a wide margin."

Bartiromo didn't take her up on her request. So I will.

The bottom line is that Cavallaro's assertion that "there's nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act," as she put it Tuesday on NBC Channel 4, is the product of her own misunderstandings, abetted by a passel of uninformed and incurious news reporters.

I talked with Cavallaro, 60, after her CNBC appearance. Let's walk through what she told me.

Her current plan, from Anthem Blue Cross, is a catastrophic coverage plan for which she pays $293 a month as an individual policyholder. It requires her to pay a deductible of $5,000 a year and limits her out-of-pocket costs to $8,500 a year. Her plan also limits her to two doctor visits a year, for which she shoulders a copay of $40 each. After that, she pays the whole cost of subsequent visits.

This fits the very definition of a nonconforming plan under Obamacare. The deductible and out-of-pocket maximums are too high, the provisions for doctor visits too skimpy.

As for a replacement plan, she says she was quoted $478 a month by her insurance broker, but that's a lot more than she'll really be paying. Cavallaro told me she hasn't checked the website of Covered California, the state's health plan exchange, herself. I did so while we talked.

Here's what I found. I won't divulge her current income, which is personal, but this year it qualifies her for a hefty federal premium subsidy.

At her age, she's eligible for a good "silver" plan for $333 a month after the subsidy -- $40 a month more than she's paying now. But the plan is much better than her current plan -- the deductible is $2,000, not $5,000. The maximum out-of-pocket expense is $6,350, not $8,500. Her co-pays would be $45 for a primary care visit and $65 for a specialty visit -- but all visits would be covered, not just two.

Is that better than her current plan? Yes, by a mile.

If she wanted to pay less, Cavallaro could opt for lesser coverage in a "bronze" plan. She could buy one from the California exchange for as little as $194 a month. From Anthem, it's $256, or $444 a year less than she's paying now. That buys her a $5,000 deductible (the same as she's paying today) but the out-of-pocket limit is lower, $6,350. Office visits would be $60 for primary care and $70 for specialties, but again with no limit on the number of visits. Factor in the premium savings, and it's hard to deny that she's still ahead.

Cavallaro told me a couple of things that are worth considering. First, what she likes about her current plan is that she can go to any doctor of her choice and any hospital. That's not entirely true, because her current plan with Anthem does favor a network. Plainly, however, it's broad enough to serve her purposes. She's concerned that the new plans will offer smaller networks, which is probably true, though it's not necessarily true that the new networks will exclude her favorite doctors, hospitals or prescription formularies.

She also mentioned that her annual income fluctuates. It can be substantially lower, or substantially higher, than it is this year. What if next year she earns too much to qualify for the subsidy? Also a fair point -- at her current income, the subsidy is worth more than $200 a month to her. But that's not the same as saying that "there's nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act," because at her current income, the act is vastly more affordable to her than what she's paying now.

When she told Channel 4 that "for the first time in my whole life, I will be without insurance," it's hard to understand what she was talking about. (Channel 4 didn't ask.) Better plans than she has now are available for her to purchase today, some of them for less money.

The sad truth is that Cavallaro has been very poorly served by the health insurance industry and the news media. It seems that Anthem didn't adequately explain her options for 2014 when it disclosed that her current plan is being canceled. If her insurance brokers told her what she says they did, they failed her. And the reporters who interviewed her without getting all the facts produced inexcusably shoddy work -- from Maria Bartiromo on down. They not only did her a disservice, but failed the rest of us too.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hilt...#axzz2jPcI0f8w
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by headsnap View Post
Another?!?!

Are they going to try to debunk all 16 million individual plans getting dropped? I would absolutely LOVE if they did a story on mine. Or even better, if I could ask the president personally why he's "taxing" me an extra $2200/year in premiums for the EXACT same plan. Plus maternity of course.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by blake5676 View Post
Are they going to try to debunk all 16 million individual plans getting dropped? I would absolutely LOVE if they did a story on mine. Or even better, if I could ask the president personally why he's "taxing" me an extra $2200/year in premiums for the EXACT same plan. Plus maternity of course.
See that is exactly the plan. Highlight a few cases (especially in Calif. & NY) where the cost is somewhat lower even if co-pays and deductibles are higher on all the liberal media outlets non-stop. That way it will seem like the millions are just whining. I know, I was dumped, make too much for subsidies and get coverage that I will never need, with higher deductibles/co-pay at a higher annual premium than what I have until 1/1/14.

Most people, if not >85% will get dumped between now and after the employer mandate is reinstated as those policies will most likely have to change also due to Obamacare regulations removing their grandfather status. That will surely hike company and worker health care annual costs. This was EXACTLY what they wanted so they can bring in enough money to pay for all the subsidies as we all know young people will just pay the fine. I would if I were younger
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:10 PM   #18
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So this isn't an anecdotal story? I thought Libtards didn't believe those?
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:13 PM   #19
blake5676 blake5676 is offline
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[quote=Loneiguana;10147263]The vast majority of Horror Stories are being Dubunked.

This is just one example.


You do realize what vast majority is, correct??
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #20
alpha_omega alpha_omega is offline
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[quote=blake5676;10147535]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
The vast majority of Horror Stories are being Dubunked.

This is just one example.


You do realize what vast majority is, correct??
Ha. A vast majority would have been 60 votes to pass the thing in the first place....oh, wait, there was no vast majority there either.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:25 PM   #21
alpha_omega alpha_omega is offline
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Oops, I think I quoted the wrong poster somehow....but my previous post still stands.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:09 PM   #22
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Per the site's own brochures, the lady in question would have to make $45,960 or less just to be eligible for any premium assistance. Given they are talking about, and I quote, a "hefty" assistance, are we looking at half that?

If so, that's a full time job around $11 an hour. If that is your crowning "Obamacare IS affordable" example, well that's just pathetic - instead, it is an extreme example, and far, far from the norm.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #23
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If she is making $45000, it is about $23/hr.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:15 PM   #24
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:24 PM   #25
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I'm not sure of the long-term impact, but in fairness I'll say that our company got an "early renewal opportunity" from our current health plan, and it was 3% lower than last year. I was stunned, because we're generally happy if t's less than a 10% increase each year.

I'm not sure if it's Obamacare-related or not since it's just a renewal of our current plan, but I would suspect that there's a link.

Our insurance broker told us to jump on it since we're the only decrease they've seen among their clients. My only theory is that we tend to skew young relative to the work force as a whole, and I know that age-banding comes into play in the new rates somehow.
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #26
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That whole article is subjective. The reality is she's paying more for more coverage that she does want or probably need.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:10 PM   #27
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
I'm not sure of the long-term impact, but in fairness I'll say that our company got an "early renewal opportunity" from our current health plan, and it was 3% lower than last year. I was stunned, because we're generally happy if t's less than a 10% increase each year.

I'm not sure if it's Obamacare-related or not since it's just a renewal of our current plan, but I would suspect that there's a link.

Our insurance broker told us to jump on it since we're the only decrease they've seen among their clients. My only theory is that we tend to skew young relative to the work force as a whole, and I know that age-banding comes into play in the new rates somehow.
I find it really interesting that all of the non-crazies on this board with reports of their 2014 insurance plans all report premiums that are lower, about the same, or perhaps a slight increase that is lower than the increases they are used to seeing.

The hard-core right-wingers all report a bazillion% increase and that someone came to their house to kick them in the balls on top of it.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:40 PM   #29
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That whole article is subjective. The reality is she's paying more for more coverage that she does want or probably need.
How is it subjective? It gave the numbers. Bottom line was she could get better coverage at a lower cost.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:56 PM   #30
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