If I am not mistaken, then the idea behind introducing Obamacare was to insure those Americans, who are not insured yet. Given this was the purpose, Obamacare has failed, or if I were to sugarcoat it, it hasn’t succeeded yet.
Millions of Americans are still uninsured. Let’s put aside the business reasons cited by Dan Karr in his article, which he wrote a year ago and look at the implementation bottlenecks that were faced by people, who didn’t even bother to report them:
Among the remaining 11 health insurance co-ops, 8 will reportedly collapse by the end of 2016. That will leave only 3 out the original 23 co-ops founded in 2012. Reports of mismanagement and alleged are also coming from some corners. A watchdog agency reported citing a report that billion dollar worth subsidies were provided to individuals, who don’t need to be subsidized.
Alternative healthcare insurance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires you to pay tax unless you come under health insurance. Let’s say you do the math and find out that the ACA tax rate is less (8% of $55K is still affordable) compared to health insurance premiums and decide to remain uninsured.
It may be a good move but what are your options?
Limited benefit insurance
One option is to opt for a limited benefit insurance policy. People don’t always buy health insurance policies to offset diagnosis and treatment costs. Families with husband and wife, both young want a health insurance that will pay for out of pocket expenses to buy over the counter medicines and routine medical care.
As their needs are limited, limited benefit insurance policies are useful for them. Other than paying their medical bills, those policies safeguard the family assets too. You might argue that young employees typically make $20/an hour, and they don’t have assets. While this may be true, such policies give you too many things at an affordable cost.
The ACA doesn’t acknowledge these programs and that means you’ll have to pay taxes after signing up for one. A medical cost-sharing program connects different people from different walks of life and create an ecosystem in which one person shares another person’s medical costs.
The problem with such programs is they only cover regular medical bills. If the disease is something serious, or if there’s been a fatal injury requiring hospital stay for a month, medi-share programs are not very useful. Besides, pulling financial resources without a prior notice is not always possible.
Religious healthcare programs
I may draw flaks from the seculars, but the truth is religion-sponsored programs are useful if you want to save cost while at the same time avail the benefits of an insurance program. One individual who joined a program called Christian Healthcare Ministries told his story.
When he signed up, he was paying $150 a month. Soon after, his entire family joined the ministry. He had five family members in total and the monthly damage was $450 not $750. A whopping $300 discount aside, he was covered for more than $120000. It’s sounds hard to believe, but it happened in reality.
Not everyone holds positive opinion about subsidized medical programs that are often presented as Obamacare alternatives. One person cited a problem; he had to ask each single medical service provider separately for discounts.
He didn’t know which bills have been reimbursed and which bills haven’t. On top of these, bills are not reimbursed instantly, but after 60-90 days. However, these are minor issues as members eventually get accustomed to how these organizations work. They send the itemized bills and wait patiently for reimbursement.
The chief reason behind Obamacare’s failure is the MLR or medical loss ratio. It’s a ratio between health care expenses and the insurance premium percentage, used to cover those expenses.
By mandating the MLR, Obamacare makes the fee structure severely flawed. The intention behind introducing Obamacare was to incentivize the health care expenses but as the MLR was set fixed, the insurance companies couldn’t make profit and the health care service providers had to increase fees to escalate revenue. As a result, the insurance sector became uncompetitive and consumers noticed a sharp increase in medical fees.
When searching for an alternative health care insurance, make sure there’s no fixed medical loss ratio, or else it’ll do more harm than good. Medical tourism is a viable option in this regard. The top hospitals in countries with weak currency and HDI offer excellent medical services, yet cost as 30-90% cheaper.
Good and bad
Some people have had good experiences with alternative health care options while others have had bad experiences owing to the quality of the service. Nevertheless, alternative health insurance policies are cost-effective.
What do you think about this article? Are you paying for an alternative health insurance policy? How’s the experience? Let us know in the comment section