Remember a few years ago when buying health insurance was easy and much less expensive? Sure, there were problems like pre-existing conditions and rising prices, but generally speaking it was a much more pleasant process than what we are forced to go through today. Today we have just a few weeks at the end of every year to sort through this mess. Today we have fewer choices than ever before, and today prices are skyrocketing.
Good intentions aside, bottom line, Obamacare has failed us. So, to everyone who brought it to us, thank you for screwing up our healthcare system. And thank you Senator John McCain for letting your feud with President Donald Trump get in the way of doing the right thing for the American people who really need help with this albatross.
If we are lucky, we are only drowning in high prices. However, too many of us also have worse coverage and more expensive coverage than last year. I appreciate the few good things like dealing with pre-existing conditions, but the healthcare system we are dealing with today is the one of the biggest financial and health care problems we Americans face.
US Congress Should Have to Use Medical Insurance to Better Understand
I think if the US Congress had to use the same medical insurance choices we wrestle with, they would understand the broken system and fix it quickly. But they don’t, so we all suffer and struggle for years.
Rather than just fixing healthcare for the smaller percentage who needed help, they changed the entire system and now new and larger groups of Americans struggle. That’s not good. So, some people who struggled before now have coverage, but many new people who had healthcare before are now struggling to pay outrageous high rates, with fewer choices and are stuck with worse healthcare coverage than ever before.
Today, if you work for a company who provides you with healthcare insurance, consider yourself fortunate. You don’t have to go through the maze of confusing choices and skyrocketing prices the rest of us have to deal with in the last few weeks of every year, year after year.
First, there is no reason why we all are forced to decide within a few weeks at the end of every year. Like the IRS taxes, this takes an extraordinary amount of time wasted year after year for Americans. All that lost productivity. This also means every person who could answer our questions is now overloaded dealing with countless others asking the same questions.
People often have major personal or professional issues they must deal with. What about them? What if we are dealing with a time consuming and attention consuming problem in our lives like a business issue, or an accident, death, illness or something else? Doesn’t matter. We must sort through this healthcare maze or else we must pay a penalty and be forced to have no insurance for the entire next year. This is wrong.
Second, all the plans that were available are shrinking. Today, many states have no plans to choose from. Imagine that. No plans! Every year the number of providers are shrinking. Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and others are dropping like flies in state after state. Here in the Atlanta area we are now down to two providers, Kaiser Permanente and Ambetter. And they have problems which I will discuss.
Medical Insurance Does Not Work for Self-Employed
Third, this limited choice of providers also limits our coverage. Neither of these two choices we have in the Atlanta area lets us continue to see the doctors we have developed long-term relationships with.
This is not only bad for patients, but it’s bad for doctors as they will lose patients and income and struggle to stay in business. Some patients don’t care. Others do. But now we are all forced to see strangers for our healthcare.
Forth, the prices have been rising like crazy over the last few years. Remember when they were selling Obamacare to us? They said it would save us $2,500 per year. Wrong. A few short years ago I paid roughly $350 per month. In 2017, I paid $1,700 per month for myself and my wife. In 2018, we are looking at well more than $2,000 per month and I haven’t even been able to get my questions answered yet because all agents are overloaded with countless others.
Fifth, prescriptions used to be affordable because healthcare insurance paid for most of it. That’s changing. Today, we have to pay for our own prescriptions. This is no longer affordable by the masses.
If you paid a little a few years ago for prescriptions, you pay much more today. Several years ago, what somebody paid $100 a month for jumped to $200, then $400. In 2018 expect that to jump to $1,000 per month. That’s insane. Another $12,000 per year. Many people who struggle with their health and take prescriptions and most simply cannot afford it any longer. This is a failure.
Too Many Can No Longer Afford Healthcare Insurance
This government solution may have been good intentioned, but it failed. With prices so high, many people who want healthcare insurance simply can’t afford it. So, if they decide they can’t afford it and don’t buy it, the US Government punishes them with a fine which is more costly than ever. So, American’s are screwed to the wall no matter which way they turn.
So, here in the USA we may have the best medical care, but we also have the worst healthcare insurance system. It’s broken. And if we are going to survive, something has to change.
We have to change the broken Obamacare system. Prices must be lower, choices must be higher, coverage must be better, and we should be able to see our own doctors.
In addition, there is no reason to squeeze everyone into this six week period at the end of every year. This makes life miserable for everyone. It’s like struggling to deal with your taxes before April 15.
How much more time, energy and money will the US Government require Americans to waste, every year, year after year? This is outrageous. So, all of you in power… fix it already! American’s need your help. Please.
Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at [email protected] His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan.