The new ‘affordable’ care act


Get ready, folks. Here comes the new “affordable” care act.

My husband and I are retired and he is on Medicare, but because I don’t qualify yet, I purchase an individual policy. Imagine my surprise when I recently received a postcard from BCBSM notifying me that my current policy will be discontinued as of January 1, 2014. It also recommended a new policy that I could switch to.

Being curious, I went online to check it out. Afterward I spoke with an insurance rep to confirm what I thought I’d read – and unfortunately, I was right.

The lady was very helpful – even apologetic – and explained that the reason my insurance plan is being discontinued is because it does not meet the new governmental guidelines.

In fact, many plans are being discontinued for the same reason, and the health provider has no input in the matter. She couldn’t access information about any of the other new policies that will be offered until after the rollout date (Oct. 1), but here’s some eye-opening info about the initial policy offered as a substitute for my current plan: My deductible will, at the least, double and may in fact triple or quadruple, depending upon how high I want my premium to be.

Copay goes from 20 percent with a maximum yearly out-of-pocket amount, to 30 percent copay with no maximum. My dental plan goes away, but I can purchase a separate add-on policy for an additional cost.

How’s that for providing me with improved (and of course, more affordable) medical coverage?

Frankly, I was shocked. I haven’t even checked on policy prices yet (I’m waiting to compare several different ones after Oct. 1) but an article in The Daily News a couple of weeks back stated that seniors will pay an average of three times the premium of a younger person, so I’m not optimistic.

I’ve also recently spoken with two other people, both of whom have received notices from their insurance companies that their premiums will be going up approximately $140 per month.

Affordable Care Act? I’m not sure where the affordable comes in. And whatever happened to “If you like the policy you currently have, you’ll be able to keep it”?

Nancy Pelosi was right – we had to pass the bill in order to read it.

I’m not sure how easy it would be to do that, as I just read that a printed copy of the Affordable Care Act stands seven feet tall. But I can only imagine what goodies are in store for us.

Fasten your seat belts, folks, because we’re in for a bumpy ride.

Kathy Tomosaski