I finalized my family’s new healthcare plan for 2014 so I thought I’d follow up on a couple of posts about health care I’ve made in the past.
Other than the morning of the launch, my state’s exchange worked perfectly well. It was responsive and understandable. That, obviously, was not the case with the national exchange.
I ended up choosing a plan from a different branch of the same company we got our plan from in 2012 and 2013, plus dental from another company. Our total for premiums plus deductibles was $23,100 in 2013. For 2014 it will be $17,400. Premiums are about $275 less a month and the deductible for the whole family is $2400 less. So, assuming we meet the deductible which now I expect we will, my family will be paying $5,700 less under the Affordable Care Act for coverage, and probably a lot less overall for health care.
Will I be getting better coverage? Well, the insurance company says the plan that most matches what we had in 2013 is a Silver level plan and the one I picked for 2014 is a Gold level plan. Scanning through, it does seem like most of the coverage is higher. All of the percentages that I have to pay are lower, usually dropping from 35 percent to 20 percent. Some things are rejiggered in the 12 dimensional chess style of the insurance industry. For example, emergency room visits are deductible/$200 copay/20% under the new plan as opposed to deductible/$100 copay/35% under the old one. Given the lower deductible and the fact that an emergency room visit my son had last year was about $2000, I’ll take the new coverage, thank you very much. The new plan also doesn’t seem to cover eye exams and glasses/contact lenses for adults, but the old didn’t cover much.
My experience is my own, it’s anecdotal. But it sure seems to me that if you live in a state that didn’t set up its own exchange, what you should be screaming at the people in D.C. is “Get it fixed!” not “Shut it down!”
(In case you were wondering, I intend to blow all of that $5,700 on Apple products and booze.)