From TPM Reader SF …
I’ve an Obamacare story – a happy one! – I thought I’d share with you, because I suspect I’m representative of a demographic that’s not getting a lot of ink.
I’ve bought health insurance on the individual market for a decade. Since 2007, when my youngest was born, I’ve had the same BC&BS policy to cover the whole family (me, wife, two kids, no major health issues). It’s roughly equivalent to a silver plan, albeit a fairly tarnished silver—no maternity, for instance—and it’s more than doubled in the past six years, from $684 a month in ’07 to $1,457 now. Our plan is grandfathered, so we could keep it, a fact BC&BS reminded us of in a cheery mailer. If we did nothing, we’d be rolled over onJanuary 1 with a new premium of $1,549 a month for our same silvery plan.
Or we could go through the exchange (which, in fairness, BC&BS did mention in that same mailer). Because I live in the North Carolina—currently run by dicks—that meant usinghealthcare.gov. Yes, it was frustrating for a couple of months; and, yes, the system is still glitchy (I had to reapply a bunch of times because it kept telling me my 8-year-old wasn’t eligible). But I got through the entire process yesterday, and enrolled us in a BC&BSplatinum plan that includes dental for the kids and caps my out-of-pocket at $3,000 a year. Without a subsidy, that plan goes for $1,280 a month—almost $300 cheaper than my current, crappier insurance with the same goddamned company. With the subsidy, it drops to $770.
Once I factor in the lower co-pays, the dental, and the far cheaper premiums, I’m going to save at least $12,000 this year. No, that’s not quite right: I’m probably going to spend most of it, maybe replace our 12-year-old bed or my 13-year-old car or our 20-year-old washing machine—all things we’ve put off for years while we shoveled money to those skimming middlemen. I can’t believe my situation is unique, so multiply me by a few million individual-market serfs and that’s an enormous amount of money that’s going to start circulating through the productive economy.
Of course, I could have saved more with a silver plan, but I’d rather over-insure if I can afford it. And I still want single-payer. But this is a colossal relief for the time being.