Sunday, October 27, 2013

California rule raises Obamacare rates

Award for biggest corporate fluffer of the week goes to this annoying hit piece on Obamacare "sticker shock" at the LAT. I've seen this narrative developing in the courtier media for a while now. ZOMG! Some people are seeing their super cheap insurance policies cancelled because, they're crap. Obamacare requires policies to furnish actual coverage for medical care. Wonder hard LAT had to look to find that one disgruntled young healthy person in California?

Fine. I see LAT's self-serving anecdote and counter with this guy who is happy his inadequate insurance was cancelled:
Anyway, you may have seen in the past couple of days how some insurers are being forced to drop thousands of individual policies because they're not ACA-compliant. My current policy is among those, so I've looked for a new policy with my insurer (Anthem). And, thanks to the ACA, I can finally get a more traditional policy because the insurer has to offer ACA-compliant plans and can't exclude for preexisting conditions. As a result, I'm switching to a Silver level plan with a $2,000 deductible, free preventive care, reasonable co-pays ($30-$45) for doctors' visits pre-deductible and reasonable co-insurance (25%) post-deductible, all for a premium that's only $20 than what I was paying. Significantly better coverage, in other words, for about $240 more per year. The media, however, are depicting the end of those policies as a bad thing, apparently because insureds may have to pay more now. But they don't mention that these insureds will be getting much better coverage. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

I've spent years making medical decisions based on the out-of-pocket cost. I've passed on doctor-advised MRIs because they would cost me $1,000 (and don't even get me started on the myth of how patients can negotiate with providers--a notion propagated largely by people who've never had to try it), and just this week I had to decide whether to have a follow-up visit with a neurologist for vertigo or see a podiatrist about an ongoing running injury. I'm ecstatic to have this coverage. And I would not have had it without the ACA.
I've heard a lot more stories like his than I have of whiners like the single one LAT dug up to join the insurance corps spokesmouths parroting GOP propaganda. But the real annoyance is the misleading hed. It blames Obamacare for an additional requirement the state of California tacked onto the policy. Which you have to read pretty far into the dismal piece to find out. Which few will do.

This is why we can't have an informed electorate.

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