How Can Obamacare Say There Will Only Be 4 Health Insurance Plans And Brag That There Will Be At Least 5 Options?


Confused 1On May, 30, 2013 the Obama administration announced that there will be at least 5 health insurance plans in all of the “Federally Facilitated Exchanges.”

I have kept a very close eye on the evolution of Obamacare since the presidential campaign of 2008 when the cost of health insurance went from “problem” to “national crisis” about the same time that the presidential campaigns started.

I will not say that the cost of health care was a tiny problem.  In my opinion, both insurance companies and medical providers could justifiably be blamed for extorting the American population.  Both industries are guilty of holding America’s health hostage to ever-increasing costs.

America chose to elect a president who promised an overhaul of the system.  It gave that president a congress that was willing to “rubber-stamp” his ideas and condemn every citizen who disagreed.

In 2008 America sought an economic savior.  As a student of history, the state of America in 2008 reminded me of 1933 Germany when the intolerant NAZI party rose to power.

Here in 2013, it does very little good for the average American to complain or continue debating Obamacare.  Whether it is good or bad legislation makes no difference.  The Affordable Care Act (A.C.A.) is law.

In several minor ways the impact of the A.C.A. has already been felt.  In truth, several positive revisions to health insurance have already been adopted.

Unfortunately, there was collateral damage as the new requirements caused “unforeseen” consequences.  Smaller insurance companies who could not survive the new level of legislation went out of business.  Hundreds of thousands of insurance company employees either lost their jobs or had their incomes cut.

When the A.C.A. stopped the practice of medical underwriting for children, the insurance companies reacted by stopping the practice of writing policies for children only.

The A.C.A. created a high risk pool for those who were already sick but had no health insurance.  Unfortunately, the federal high risk pool has run out of money before they planned.  (I remember the political “fire-storm” when my state of Texas informed the Department of Health and Human Services that Texas would not give up its high risk health insurance program in favor of the federal plan.  Today the Texas pool is still solvent while the federal pool stopped taking citizens in March and have announced that they will no longer pay health care providers their normal fee but will use Medicare payment schedules for the rest of the year.)

If nothing else, Obamacare has confirmed the truth behind the old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Although I have a deep distrust of all politicians, regardless of their political affiliation, I have no evidence that Obama, Pelosi and Reid did anything out of malice.  I believe that they forced Obamacare on America because they genuinely believed that it would help people.

The truth is that Obamacare will help the “poor uninsured.”  Unfortunately, it will hurt many middle-class Americans who already pay for health insurance.

Recently, Mr. Obama has only provided partial information again and potentially caused a great deal of confusion.  Last week he said that there will be at least 5 options in 90% of the states.

(If that is true, the population of American citizens in 5 states will not experience the same “Shangra-La” of health insurance that the rest of us will.  Unfortunately, I do not know which states will be short-changed.  The White House has elected to withhold that information for as long as possible.)

My purpose, however, for this post is not to enumerate the short-comings of the Obama White House.  I know that by now you have made up your mind to be either pro or anti Obama and no amount of facts will change your mind.

Rather than change your political opinion, I want to try to help you translate the political “spin.”

Nothing has changed.  There are still only 4 “Metal” options available on the new health insurance exchanges.  They are…

  1. Platinum – 90% Actuarial Value
  2. Gold – 80% Actuarial Value
  3. Silver – 70% Actuarial Value
  4. Bronze – 60% Actuarial Value

When President Obama bragged that there will be at least 5 plans in 90% of the exchanges, he was unclear.

Mr. Obama would have been more precise to say, “At least 5 different private health insurance companies or CO-OPS will offer one, or all of the 4 “Metal” plans in 90% of the states.”

In fairness to Mr. Obama, there is a 5th plan that was authorized by Congress for “Young Invincibles.”  That plan will only be available for young adults under the age of 30.

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