Monday, November 11, 2013

Update from the Utah Obamacare Exchange

Jon Goates
My brother, Jon, is in the trenches on Obamacare. He might even be considered the "canary in the mine shaft" as my early-warning device to monitor the impacts on small medical practices like the one he manages in Davis County (small town) Utah. In his latest installment he documents what is happening to his personal plan with his insurance carrier and what the implementation of Obamacare means to his business. Based upon reports that are now surfacing all across America, his story about Utah's health care exchange can be considered more typical than extraordinary.

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Just a quick note to demonstrate why you don’t ever want to allow Washington to mandate your medical insurance coverage. Amid other considerations, the 1,500 new regulations I have to implement over the next 18 months will most assuredly result in an audit and fines for not doing it just the right way for the subjective enforcement according to the personal whims of the auditor. 

Last week I met with our insurance broker. He explained that because the insurance plan I pay for through the practice falls under Obama’s Federal mandate for “affordable” care, my personal premium (for one child, spouse and me) will go from $956 per month to $1,495.75 – a 55% increase! I already have a $2,500 individual and $3,750 family deductible and a qualified HSA card. I feel so good about BHO's assurances that “You can keep your current insurance if you want to.” This massive increase is what it takes the commercial insurance carriers to include the regulated Obamacare items into my coverage.

This is ludicrous. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her side-kick “the-buck-stops-with-me-Barack” are healthcare idiots who are both dumbfounded as to why it is so hard to attract the American public to the insurance plans they have so generously provided. Have you seen what their brand of “affordable care” is for the public? Sure, you can go shopping on the insurance exchanges for low monthly premiums for families of about $300-$450, but those same plans sport $7,500 to $9,000 annual deductibles. So if families were uninsured prior to BarackHealth, how will the same families ever begin to whittle down these massive deductibles before their co-insurance ever kicks in? Simply, they cannot afford to do so. Conundrum.

The result is that the same doctor’s office or Emergency Department will have to carry the same if not more debt from these now "insured" families as we were carrying before BarackHealth went into effect. The biggest difference will be that prior to BarackHealth’s mandated deductibles local medical clinics could openly discount the care to our patients by 20-30% as they paid cash for each visit, which was our own way of creating an "affordable care" solution for the uninsured. Did we get any credit for doing so? Nope. Now and going forward we cannot discount someone’s annual deductible, since every dollar they spend will “benefit them” at meeting their minimum coinsurance thresholds. 

The Utah insurance exchange has 5,000 visitors to the website each day. Only 1% actually sign-up for an insurance plan. And you wonder. . . why?

Jon Goates
Chief Executive,
Davis Family Physicians, PC

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