March 14, 2014

In case you needed further evidence that the problem Republicans have with Obamacare is the "Obama" part, check this out, via Huffpost:

The former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party will save $1,000 a month in premiums for his family's health care package after signing up for a new policy through the Obamacare exchange.

But Fergus Cullen said the savings aren't enough to turn him into a supporter of the new health care law. He said he anticipates higher out-of-pocket costs with his new Anthem-administered plan, and he's frustrated by what he sees as a lack of information about coverage options. His old plan, which was pricey but covered what he needed, was cancelled by his insurer because it didn't meet Obamacare regulations.

"Fundamentally, the plan I wanted to buy is one that gives me catastrophic coverage for my family and lets me self-insure for everything else," Cullen said in a phone interview with The Huffington Post.

So wait and let me see if I understand this. On the one hand, Cullen wanted a high-deductible plan where he could have been out of pocket up to $10-$15,000, but on the other hand, he's worried about his out-of-pocket costs?

That's just classic Republican intellectual dishonesty, especially when you look at the numbers.

First, the facts. Per Cullen, his family of five spent $26,934.89 on health care last year, a combination of insurance premiums (the majority of the cost) and out-of-pocket expenses. The year before, that number was $22,121.50. In other words, his costs were rising prior to Obamacare exchanges going into effect.


He ended up with a bronze plan (the least comprehensive of the tiers available to his family) that will save him in premiums about $12,000 a year. And this is before applying for tax credits, which he said he was thinking of doing. Tax credits are available to a family of five with an income of less than $110,280.

So what's to complain about? For one, Cullen said he's worried about out-of-pocket costs, which he said may be unpredictable. But under the law, out-of-pocket costs are capped at $12,700 a year per family. So at the most, he may end up spending $700 more this year than last (the difference between the savings on premiums and the out-of-pocket maximum).

He goes on to say he doesn't like it because he'd like to pick and choose what he pays for in terms of coverage. For example, he doesn't like the fact that preventative services are part of the overall policy because he could pay for those himself. I guess he hasn't priced a colonoscopy lately. For cash patients, those can run as much as $4,000. Trust me. I paid it. Insurance patients (and companies) get a break because they negotiate a flat fee.

Seriously, at this point it's just a stretch to understand how this guy can criticize something that is saving him at least $1,000 per month and likely more when he looks at what is and isn't covered.

But hey, at least he wrote a public article about saving money with it. There's something, at least.

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