Obama Penalty Shock for not Having Health Insurance
by Chris Campbell
Americans from Olympia to Miami are getting a shock in their mailboxes…
And… surprise!... it has to do with Obamacare. “Most just thought it was the $95 minimum penalty,” Dora Robinson of H&R Block told Asheville’s WLOS News. And most were wrong. They didn’t realize the law states that fines are one percent of household income or $95. Whichever is greater. So, for example, those who earned $60,000 last year are getting hit with a $600 penalty. And yes, they’re appalled. They must’ve missed the memo…
But it doesn’t end there…For 2015, that penalty minimum will go up to $325 per person, $975 per family, or 2 percent of household income. “The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare,” our own healthcare maven Jud Anglin writes, “is now the law of the land. “And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s anything but affordable. “In fact, it’s frighteningly expensive.
“But there is some good news. An unintended positive consequence of Obamacare that’s been overlooked. In fact, it could save you thousands off your next medical bill.” Jud is talking about what, yesterday, I referred to as “Uncle Sammy’s Free-Market Solution.” (In retrospect, it’s a terrible name. And I apologize. I’m not sure what I was thinking.) Despite the name, the solution itself is anything but terrible. Just ask David White from Atlanta.
It all began much like many great stories begin: with a man named David having a hernia in Atlanta.
David was suffering. With the fascia of his organs protruding through the cavity that should contain it, poor David could barely even walk to the mailbox. And, to make matters worse, David didn’t have insurance. And he wasn’t a gazillionaire, so he definitely couldn’t fit the surgery into his budget.
“The cost for surgery in Atlanta,” he told WSB-TV, “was quoted to me at $14,000.” Losing hope, David had nearly resigned to a life of pain and Pick Sticks…
“I am your future, David. Embrace me.”
A glimmer of hope…And then a miracle.
David found a way to make his surgery substantially cheaper. Cheap enough, in fact, that he could afford it without having to sling drugs on the street. Nope... it wasn’t traveling to Bangkok. Though he could use some excitement in his life, David isn’t really the adventurous type. (I’m just guessing here.) Instead, David discovered a free-market healthcare solution within the States -- a healthcare haven nestled serenely at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.
And it promised to give him near-Third World prices without having to leave the country. It seemed too good to be true. He logged onto its website and was instantly quoted only $3,200 -- nearly $11,000 less than his local hospital.
David decided to take the leap. He flew to Oklahoma. He got the operation. Happily paid them his money. And yes… history was made.
And today? David is hernia free.
And David would strut to the mailbox, but he’s finally caught up with the times and opened up a friggin’ email account. You go, David. I’ll reveal to you what David discovered in a moment.
First, let’s dig deeper into how Obamacare affects you…
According to Newsmax, “the deductibles [for Obamacare] are averaging $5,081 per year for the minimal coverage Bronze plans on the HealthCare.gov website in 34 of the 36 states on the federal exchange for individual plans.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, family deductibles may be as high as $12,700. “Your deductible,” Jud explains, “is the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance policy kicks in. “For example, if little Johnny takes a bad spill during his soccer game and fractures his wrist, you’ll need to take out your credit card instead of your insurance card at your local hospital as the bill will likely be lower than your $12,700 deductible.
“The bad news here is that Obamacare is increasing co-pays, monthly premiums and deductibles.” And this doesn’t, by the way, only apply to Obamacare recipients. It doesn’t matter what your current coverage is. “If you obtain lavish health benefits from your employer,” Jud explains, “you are not immune to rising costs. This is because many employers are converting away from comprehensive HMO type plans to high deductible health plans (HDHP), combined with health savings accounts (HSAs).
[Side-note, in case you don’t know: “HSAs are tax-deferred accounts that can be used to cover out-of-pocket healthcare expenses that fall below your insurance deductible. According to IRS guidelines for 2014, individuals are allowed to deposit up to $3,300 per annum, which can be rolled over into the next calendar year. Families are allowed to deposit up to $6,550.]
According to CEO of LeapFrog Leah Binder, this surge into high-deductible insurance “is a tsunami of change.”
“Five years ago,” Binder said in an NPR interview, “about zero people had high-deductible health plans and now, it’s 1 in 5 American workers.” And this is set to increase. Exponentially.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to surmise,” says Jud, “that this means most Americans are going to experience a massive increase in their out-of-pocket expenses in co-pays, premiums, and deductibles for health care, the likes of which they have never experienced before.” But… there’s good news. Now there’s an incentive to seek out and create opportunities for lower cost, innovative healthcare options. Enter the cash-pay, transparent-pricing hospital.
“For those that have read my Laissez Faire Obamacare Antidote report,” says Jud, “you’ll already be familiar with the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.”
“Wonder why no mention of the Oklahoma City Surgery Center?” one reader asked yesterday afternoon.
“Friend of mine had hernia surgery done there in Dec. 2014. The appointments were done via phone/email. “He saw the surgeon on a Thursday, was operated on Friday, was checked out the following Monday, and was back to Alaska on Wednesday. “No heavy lifting for prescribed period of time. Cost: $3,060 cash, plus $50 for a prescription. And travel and hotel costs.
[Heh... Please tell me your friend’s name is David.]
© 2015 Laissez Faire Books, LLC.