I cannot lie. I never have been a huge fan of Obamacare but for reasons that are not often mentioned by the political extremists.
I am all for the uninsured being able to get the health insurance they need. I am just against the manner in which the politicians in D.C. have chosen to accomplish the goal.
I cannot describe how appalled I am that the politicians felt that the only way to accomplish the goal of universal coverage was to mandate that all Americans buy government approved health insurance.
In case that prior sentence confuses you, let me reiterate. Obamacare requires that every American, regardless of their gender or income, is required to buy government approved health insurance in 2014, whether or not they want it.
I am not sure about the logic behind making a single, male or menopausal female buy a health insurance policy that has maternity benefits. It is impossible for them to get pregnant. Why must they pay for maternity coverage?
I understand that married women, in their twenties and thirties, can benefit from full maternity coverage. I just do not understand the logic behind forcing 50 year-old females to pay for it.
The politicians that forced Obamacare on America did a pretty good job of anticipating loop-holes. Unless you are specifically exempted, you have no choice but to buy government approved health insurance or pay a “Shared Responsibility Payment”. (In the PPACA it is called a “penalty.” The Supreme Court said that it was officially a “tax” in June of 2012 but the Obama Administration refuses to use that term for political reasons.)
So far I am not impressed in the way the Obama Administration has handled Obamacare in 2013.
- In February, Mr. Obama announced that the members of congress that created a federal high-risk pool asked for less money than was needed. The federal program for those with pre-existing conditions who had no health insurance was closed for new enrollees 10 months before guaranteed issue health insurance was scheduled to be available. In June the Obama Administration announced that they would only pay medical providers the same payment rate that they paid for Medicare.
- In April, Mr. Obama announced that federal S.H.O.P. exchanges, that preserved choices for employees of small businesses, would not be available. Originally, he had told America that S.H.O.P. exchanges would not be available for 2014. After 2 weeks of pressure from the leaders of the Democratic Party, he corrected his announcement. In October of 2013, modified S.H.O.P. exchanges are supposed to be available in states that have elected to have Federally Facilitated Exchanges. Small business owners will still be able subsidize the cost of health insurance for their employees but employees will not have the options that were promised to them in the PPACA.
- In July Mr. Obama announced that he had instructed the I.R.S. not to enforce the Large Employer Mandate in 2014. Unfortunately, he did not announce that the Individual Mandate was also suspended for a year.
Although you cannot avoid buying a Qualifying Health Plan in 2014, you can delay it for as much as a year.
There is a loop-hole in the final rules from the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, that you can use if you are so inclined.
Because it would cause too great of a strain on the servers in the new health insurance exchanges if every American who is required to enroll in a Qualifying Health Plan tried to enroll during the last 3 months of 2013, HHS has allowed people to keep their current Qualifying Health Plan until it’s renewal date in 2014.
Several, but not all, insurance companies have latched onto this loop-hole. They have made arrangements with several state Departments of Insurance to adjust the renewal dates on their policies until December 31, 2014.
If your insurance company has taken this step, you are able to delay enrolling in Obamacare for an extra year. You can keep, and pay for, your current plan for an extra year if that is what you want.
For people who live in Texas, and other states where Individual plans are not required to cover full maternity benefits, those who have policies like this are able to pay for plans without maternity or substance abuse coverage.
The result is that middle-class Americans, who live in states that have allowed this, are able to delay enrolling in, and paying for, on of Obamacare’s Essential Benefit Plans.
Health insurance premiums will still be expensive but not as expensive as they will be for plans that require full maternity and substance abuse coverage for those who do not need those types of benefits.
Those people who have elected to remain uninsured but do not want to be forced to pay for an Essential Benefit Plan that includes maternity coverage in 2014 will need to get a Qualifying Health Plan, with an effective date in 2013, by December of this year. Those who wait until January, 2014, will not be able to delay Obamacare.
However, before you rush out to use this strategy to avoid Obamacare, take time to make some considerations. Delaying Obamacare is not appropriate for everyone.
If you are a female of child-bearing age or use chemical substances, like cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend that you attempt to delay getting an Essential Benefit Plan.
However, if you are a teetotaler, male or older female but too young for Medicare, you may want to delay Obamacare as long as you can if you are responsible for your own health insurance.