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Health Insurance...Obamacare

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am in the process of looking for new health insurance, as my COBRA is about to end. Looking at the new ObamaCare estimator, my costs are going to skyrocket for what they call the silver plan, which is inadequate for someone with cancer. Just for that plan, my cost is estimated at 880 per month for an individual and that is a low estimate, based on younger person.

Today the NYTimes reports that the caps on out of pocket expenditures has been delayed until 2015. The year I was treated with chemo, radiation, surgery, etc. I paid in excess of 30k out of pocket. I just cannot do this again. This Obamacare is not what I thought it would be at all. If an individual earns less than 45k a year, the federal government subsidizes most of the cost. I live in New England and no individual could afford rent or a mortgage at that salary here. Yet, the limit on income is nationwide. So, what it amounts to, once again, is that the few that pay most of the taxes will once again subsidize the program. I just can't do it anymore. The irony is that our state already had ample programs to support the indigent. What Obamacare is doing is throwing more people into the uninsured category. UGH.

Is there anyone here who has a handle on the ins and outs of this new health insurance law? I have given up trying to figure it out. I did call the new exchange they set up and they said I may be able to get a waiver from paying the penalty due to my health, but unless I reduce my income, I would have to pay the higher rate. So my rate goes from 650 to 880(at least) in January 2014. Unreal.

Btw, I am a liberal Democrat! Fed up!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I have no faith in ObamaCare and I totally agree with you--"the few that pay most of the taxes will once again subsidize the program."  That to me seems to be the way it is now, already, in the form of individual state programs, so I don't see how it's going to be better for anyone.  Insurance costs are going to rise for everyone.  I already have very good insurance through my husband's company, from which he is retired.  I believe that in order to keep that good coverage, the ins co will raise our premiums.  At the same time, our taxes will no doubt go up to fund ObamaCare, so we will get a double hit.  People have been led to believe that this healthcare plan is the answer to all of our healthcare woes in this country.  As I see it, it's the beginning of the end for good healthcare for each and every one of us across the board. 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Martha,

I do think health insurance is in dire need of reform. Too many were shut out of the market. In many states individuals have no or little choice in companies and are at the mercy of monopolies and ever rising prices. Too many people were shut out of the market due to pre-existing conditions. A large number of personal bankruptcy filings are due to the cost of health care.
The problem is Obamacare is not the answer!!! It does nothing to curb the ever rising prices and does nothing to increase market competiion.

With the latest delay of the caps on out of pocket expenditures, more cancer patients will lose their homes and file for bankruptcy protection. I don't want to be one of them!!

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 831
Joined: Jun 2013

...won't be perfect, but something had to be done. During the President Clinton years when we had trillions of surplus they tried but failed. President Bush spent trillions on wars. By now we have 40 million without insurance and they won't even give insurance to the sickest who needs it the most. At least President Obama had the will and the skills to do some reforms decades overdue. If people can get insurance with pre-existing conditions it was already worth it.

The fact that they take from those they can and give it to those who may not deserve it is the reality of our world. Democracy is not perfect and sometimes doesn't make sense, but this is the best system humans could come up with sofar. Most Americans have no idea of what's going on in healthcare in other countries. I have been around and adding everything up this is far the best I have seen. 

What other societies have over us is the closeness of family and community.Is our system perfect? Far from it. But at least we all have a chance to have our voice heard, our input considered. 

Laz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I stand by my comments.  I don't mind helping out the people who are indigent and poor through no fault of their own and I think it's a very good idea to make it so that no one can be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.  However, some people in this country need to get their priorities straight, like not having baby after baby out of wedlock to collect benefits, while sitting on their sofa watching their big screen tv, knowing that the government will "take care of them."  It has to stop somewhere.  It is painful for my husband and I to pay our high health ins premiums, but we do it because we do not want others to have to foot our bills.  I feel very fortunate that we can do that, but we have made many sacrifices to keep that good ins.  The "government" doesn't take care of people like I just mentioned--it's the hard-working taxpayers who do it.  I realize that a there is a lot of animosity towards the "haves" in this country.  However, people forget that those are the citizens who own companies that put people to work.  Those companies are now having to pay more for ins coverage for employees, which is going to lead to fewer jobs for those who actually do want to work.  It's a vicious cycle.

I don't mean to sound mean or all-out Republican here, but our government is too much in our lives.  That's just my own personal opinion.   

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Because my premiums will skyrocket, and there will be no cap on out of pocket expenses until 2015, if ever, I will no longer be able to afford health insurance. I support a household alone, as a single person. I raised a child alone, worked myself sick, paid my mortgagr, taxes, etc. alone. The 45k cutoff is ridiculous for some parts of the country. Nobody in New England could support a home on 45k a year. Just rent or mortgage alone for a modest 2 bedroom apartment would be far more than half that amount. So, when they take from me ,and the millions of single parents like me, to support the indigent, they have put me into the category of the uninsured. I am hardly in the category of " the haves". I am barely making it. Now, with this new burden, I will not be making it, and may not even survive!

There will be those who will benefit from this. There are many that I know who live with unmarried partners and claim single status. Once again, singles are discriminated against in the tax codes, social security benefits, now health insurance exchange. This plan was poorly thought out and will be impossible to administer. I am quite furious at the postion I find myself in.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 831
Joined: Jun 2013

Same here in California. Believe me I have thousands of dollars in bills too and being out for two months starting in Sepember, I don't know how am I gonna make it either. Sometimes we joust have to believe and keep going on.

Lets hope it will be all right. Withouth faith live is meaningless any way.

Laz

Phoebesnow
Posts: 447
Joined: Apr 2011

This topic is more fitting for a political forum than a cancer support group. I just don't see the connection.

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Phoebe, you really don't see the connection? Health insurance, or lack of it, is the difference between life and death to a cancer patient. People with cancer and other chronic illnesses are most effected by these changes. It would be pretty tough to fight cancer with no medical care. With no insurance, no cancer treatment! I guess if I were NED and I had insurance through a spouse or an employer, I could become complacent and consider it someone else's tough luck.

I raised the question here because we all have had cancer,and are statistically more likely to face it again, and I thought there may be others who better understood the ins and outs of the new law. Maybe most have insurance through employers and are not concerned with the changes. Trust me, this new law is going to effect cancer patients!

I respectfully disagree that this is not a proper forum to discuss health insurance! It is not a political issue, it is life or death.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 831
Joined: Jun 2013

The financial consequences of an illness cause just as much stress and grief as the illness itself. You have to recover from both of them. Stress plays huge role in your recovery or worsening.

No one seems to know what the new health care reform will bring. We saw it before with other deregulations things got worse.

Lets hope we will make it in both arenas.

Laz

jcruz
Posts: 206
Joined: Jan 2013

I wasn't going to join in here but I just have to make one or two comments.  I'd like to find a new nickname for the Affordable Care Act.  How about the "President and Congress can't get along and agree on anything act"?  I think we as a country have to start somewhere and I know this is less than perfect.  And I know it's easier for me to say this because I do have reasonable insurance through my employer with whom I share premiums and it's insurance that I get to keep when I retire.  I'll be paying more for it in the future but I know I am darn lucky to have it.  I think this is a perfectly reasonable topic for our forum as we have all dealt in some way with the cost of our medical care.  I hope we can stay away from stereotyping people who for whatever reason have needed to rely on public assistance at one time or another.  My family needed help when I was a teenager and I also did for a very short time as a young adult.  And that's it from me, a very lefty liberal Democrat.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks. I am a left leaning Democrat too! I am also going to be without health insurance in one month, because I cannot afford another thousand a month!!! What I really wanted was someone who perhaps understood the ins and outs of this new law. I can't get answers. For example, what counts as income towards the limits.....distribution from IRA? Social Security? Retirement income? Dividend pyments, etc? Nobody seems to know anything at all. Most frustrating. As a cancer patient, we all understand that, if we are single, we are vulnerable to just plain going broke!! I am a divorced, single parent, whose child was in her junior yr. of college when diagnosed with first cancer. I was really hoping that OBamacare would help the hard working middle class, for once! It does NOT. My rates will go up over 40% for less coverage. Sickens me and it is soooo wrong to do to people. Almost immoral. Enough is enough. I have no clue what to do now. I could sell my home, but at my age, where would I go?

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 551
Joined: Jul 2011

I was going to stay out of this discussion but I CAN'T!  I agree with Martha....  I worked and supported my two kids with no government assistance.  Was it tough?  OH YeaH!  

What I actually wanted to say was that I WORKED for the government in both health care and retirement and I CANNOT FIGURE THIS NEW PROGRAM OUT!  Just when I think I might have, I haven't.  Best I can tell is that people who are over the income limit but still can't afford the new premiums will get hit with higher taxes at tax time.  Sooooo.... You can't afford insurance before the new program, so they penalize you wih the advent of the new one.....?????  I HAVE to be reading something wrong!

all ranting aside, we still have the best as far as I can tell....  My grandpa said "having nothing is a blessing in a way.  You don't worry about someone taking it away and anything you do have you appreciate"......

me, leaving for Houston on Sunday.  What retirement savings???

 

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I called my Senator's office. I make enough over the cutoff that my premiums go so far up, I cannot afford it and still keep my house. Great news(haha) is that because of my health I can apply for a waiver of the penalty. I explained to them that I may be dead by April 15th without medical care...... The woman said, " Oh, I am sorry, guess that is one unintended consequence.".

Many single people will die because of this new law. I refuse to sell my home to buy health insurance.

Phoebesnow
Posts: 447
Joined: Apr 2011

That's exactly what upset me.  Subjects like these brings out the ugly in the nicest people and someone is bound to be hurt.  On other boards they do not allow religion, politics and hotbed issues to be discussed.  

 

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Sorry the discussion upset you. I don't have anything against people needing a helping hand at all. As a two time single cancer patient, I understand what it is to be sick and to struggle to support myself and my child through the sicknesses. It is tough. It is just that ObamaCare is hurting the wrong people. This is a creation of insurance companies, and they will gain enormously! The wrong people are being asked to help the less fortunate. How about curbing the costs, limiting the profits?

Doesn't it make you somewhat angry to see people profiting from our illnesses? Instead of curbing the profit, ObamaCare asks struggling people like me to pay the ever rising cost of health insurance for others. Something is so wrong here.

As of Oct. 1st, I will be without health insurance. That is after a lifetime of paying high premiums, high taxes,and never looking to the government for one ounce of help. This is wrong, wrong, wrong.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

You make some very good points.  Again, I think that a lot of people have been led to believe that this will resolve all the problems with healthcare in our country.  But as you state, it's going to make it much worse for some people who are caught in the middle, such as yourself.  I am so sorry that this is happening to you.  I get very angry when I hear about people like you who have worked hard all their lives and made many sacrifices to be able to take care of themselves only to face such difficulties.  It is unfair and wrong. 

mxperry220
Posts: 349
Joined: Mar 2011

I believe income under Obamacare is defined by the Internal Revenue Service Code as reported on Form 1040/1040EZ.  Below is a link from the IRS(Publication 525) regarding defining Income.  It is a rather lengthy publication but I thought it might be of some use for you.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p525.pdf

Mike

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Mike,

Thanks. How do you know this? I can't get an answer from anyone to this day. They tell me they don't know yet.

mxperry220
Posts: 349
Joined: Mar 2011

I have read some of the Obamacare guidelines are in alignment with the IRS regulations of which income is clearly defined by the IRS.  The IRS would be the only way income of an individual  could be verfied on Form 1040. Who knows if Congress should decide to modify what income means under Obamacare once all the debate is finalized but I can see no other means of verifying reported income unless they access the IRS data to verify an individual's income.  I am betting they use the IRS data for income.  I am retired and my IRA withdrawals are reported as income to the IRS inder my IRA plan. 

Mike

mxperry220
Posts: 349
Joined: Mar 2011

Below is a link to one of the articles I read regarding income definition under Obamacare.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/26/faq-everything-you-need-to-know-about-obamacares-coverage-options-in-one-post/

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks, Mike. It sounds like there is a new definition of income for health care purposes. "Modified Adjusted Gross Income". Hmmmmm. Wondering why the people at the new Health connector don't have the exact information?

Thanks for the article.

mxperry220
Posts: 349
Joined: Mar 2011

Here is another link further defining MAGI under Obamacare.

 

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/healthcare/MAGI_summary13.pdf

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks, that is very helpful. I am not sure what the taxable portion of social security payments is. I don't recieve SS now, but was considering retiring next year, 2014.

mxperry220
Posts: 349
Joined: Mar 2011

Approximately 50% of you Social Security benefit could be taxed depending on your total income.

Mike

Viking51's picture
Viking51
Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2013

My mother paid 800 dollars a month for 17 years because of her diagnosis of 4th stage Cervical Cancer in 1995. When it reoccured you think she would have got some of that back since she just had a Hysterectomy and hospital stay and for the most part was really healthy all these years. They hardly covered crap and her and my dad nearly lost thier business and had to borrow money from me and my brother for her healthcare. She passed last year and the only way my dad recovered was from the life insurance. There us something very seriously wrong with thst. There is a great book out there that breaks down the whole thing, everyone is passing it around at work. I am going to read it soon. I think if you google it you will find it. But everyone who has read it that works in Healthcare is pretty woried about Obama Care. Personally my view is Chemo Sucks and hardly works and causes so many problems after. Screw the Insurance companies and go alternative at the same time and try to cure yourself dont rely on the extremely corrupt Pharmaceutical Companies and FDA to dictate your health. Not only will they rob you but your health also and its all for the almighty dollar

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I am sorry for the loss of your mother and all the financial problems that followed.  However, coming onto an anal cancer forum and telling us we should go with alternative medicine is probably not good advice, IMO, and I really can't welcome it.  It's true that the cut, burn and poison method is brutal and lots of companies make tons of money off of sick people because of it.  But if you do a little reading up on anal cancer, you'd soon realize that at this current time, it's the only thing that is proven to work.  I am a 5-year survivor because of it.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am sorry about your Mother. I do understand your anger that the conventional medicine did not work for her. I also agree that our health insurance system MUST be reformed, and Obamacare is not the answer. It does absolutley nothing to curb the rising costs and limit the profits. I cannot agree with you about using alternative medicine for the cure. If alternative medicine was effective in curing cancer, we would not be calling it alternative.

I dare say that if you were diagnosed with cancer, you would want the treatments that were shown, scientifically, to be the most effective. I have had cancer twice and I am praying I do not have to face round 3!

My friend died a year ago from ovarian cancer that had spread to her lungs and brain by the time she was diagnosed. Why had it gone so far? She used alternative medicine and refused to go to a conventional doctor, until one day she was rushed to the ER by her family. When they did a scan and saw the extent of the cancer, they told her that she had months to live, at most. They told her they could possibly extend her life up to 6 months by chemo and radiation to the brain. She did not hesitate to accept that treatment, even though she knew she could not survive. She hung on to hope unitl the very end. She deeply regretted not going to doctors. They could hqve saved her life. She died before she saw her 59th birthday. Much too young to leave her beloved children.

Trust me, when the doctors tell you that they can probably save you, you sign up!

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 551
Joined: Jul 2011

Well said!  When I was going through treatment I said I would never go through that again!  The farther from treatment I get the less sure I am of that statement.  Wanting to live is a strong motivation...

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Sorry for the loss of your mom.  I had chemo/rads and am ned from 6-30-09.  I see you had cancer and chose to have surgery.  Did you also use alternative while healing?  I wish you well. Lori

eihtak
Posts: 809
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, and welcome. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I read your profile and it sounds as though you were very close, and I agree that it is a horrible feeling to feel helpless when one so loved is suffering. Thankyou for your efforts to help in the fight against cancer.

Whether on this board or in life in general we are all entitled to our own opinions. That variety is how problems of great nature are solved. Chemo does as you said "suck"....... but for most of us here it HAS worked and we are living proof, and if faced with this challenge again will probably go with what has proven positive outcomes. Problems afterwards, yes, but life was never promised to us to be easy or problem free. The financial woes would be there cancer or not, but are most definately an added stress when serious illness is involved. That being said, I will admit I find the study of alternative treatments interesting and certainly of some value, just not the route for my personal journey. Funny, we often all arrive at the same destination, but so many different ways to get there.

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