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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Looking For a Health Insurance Policy?

U.S., Quality of Life, Politics, Healthcare, People Making A Difference, Economy

There is some discussion ongoing about people who have yet to enroll in a qualifying health plan under the Affordable Care Act.  That is frankly no longer possible until the next open enrollment period now scheduled to begin on November 15, 2014.  The only exception is for those who have encountered a qualifying event such as a move from one state to another or the loss of a job, or a significant financial change, etc.

With the exception of people who fall into this category, or those who supposedly are still in the process of getting health care coverage using the “I tried but…” approach, people seeking to buy a new individual health insurance policy cannot do that.  Insurance companies are not permitted to sell such a policy to anyone who doesn’t qualify.

Some are thinking that the delay of the next open enrollment period, from the originally scheduled October 15, 2014 date, for a month was for the purpose of getting past the fall elections without anyone yet suffering from the premium rate shock that is almost certain to occur.  The reports about coming premium rate increases are beginning to seep out and there is nothing good about the rumors.  Mid-range double digit percentages are not at all out of the question.  Politicians who voted for the ACA and who are standing for re-election will apparently be protected from the fall-out expected by this simple maneuver by the Federal government in order to delay the release of the new premium rates for a month.

Given all the questionable shenanigans we’ve witnessed in the roll-out of the ACA, it is not terribly surprising that this delay is exactly for the reasons surmised.  I still remember the old, “we had to pass it so you could see what was in it” gambit of Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  That is anything but humorous today.  Frankly it was offensive then and even more offensive now.

Now that people are actually finding they cannot even buy a health insurance policy because it is illegal for the insurers to sell such policies outside the open enrollment period, there are more raised eyebrows.  This is but the tip of the iceberg given all the other rules that will be seeing the light of day now that the ACA is actually up and running.

Republicans continue to bluster about repealing the ACA but the idea of a full repeal is simply not at all practical, and maybe actually impossible.  The tentacles of the ACA reach into virtually all aspects of our lives already; we just don’t know how yet.  Like the news that one can’t buy a health insurance policy now, there are hundreds of rules that will begin to surface over the coming months.

Frankly, if those who created and voted for the ACA have not found other jobs, and/or gotten into witness protection programs (a little humor there), they will wish they had.  The typical American is going to be amazed at how this law has changed his or her life, and those changes are not all going to be things we like.

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