Category Archives: Healthcare

Obamacare – Affecting Us For Awhile

Any one of us still employed and has employer based health benefits already know this to be true.

What follows is the latest impact that I see with my own health coverage through my employer.
Our newest coverage began this July 1st, 2013. It raised our pay period withholding a bit, around $10 to $20. Not too bad, right? Well, what the brochures we were given prior to signing up didn’t bother to show the changes and total impact to our out-of-pocket costs for any and all prescription costs.

Bottom line, prior to July 1st with coverage under BCBS Anthem and Express Scripts online pharmacy, my average 90 day total coverage for 12 prescriptions came to a total close to $286.

Now that we are in a new contract with BCBS Anthem but with CVS Caremark online pharmacy, my average 90 total coverage jumps to $607.

Out of the 12 prescriptions, only four are the heavy hitters. Insulin went from $129 to $339.The needles went from $5 to … $38. The other two went from $40 each to $87 and $101.

My message here is to those thinking Obamacare hasn’t hit yet, well, I have news for you. It has been getting more pronounced in our costs for the past few years to now – and the full effect hasn’t even switched on yet.

The costs I mention above are only starting to impact those of us with employer based health coverage. And most of the employees may not be noticing the impact quite yet due to the recent contracts just now taking effect.

Now, add in this mix where other smaller companies are clearly trying to minimize their costs by: shifting full time employees to part time (under 30 hours as defined by the ACA), dropping spousal coverage (UPS just recently to the tune of ten to 15 thousand people), closing their businesses.

In short, Obamacare is decimating employment, productivity, take home pay, ability to pay monthly bills and quality healthcare. Oh, did I forget to mention doctors that are – no longer accepting Medicare patients and those retiring and about to retire? And what about those students no longer finding the healthcare industry to be an attractive future? Not to mention their rising tuition costs – and even if they can continue and complete their education? Even if they stay and live with their parents? And how can their parents afford to keep them as dependents?

This is just the tip of the Titanic’s Iceberg, folks. And the ACA hasn’t and won’t be in full force starting in 2014 due to Obama delaying portions of the law (for whose benefit?). And that – is being questioned mightily about the legality of his decision – since it is only the job of Congress to enact & change legislation. It is NOT the job of the Executive branch. (Expect to hear more of that soon.)

As a sidenote, but just as related, illegals have been protesting for the right to get free organ transplants. Now, if you were a doctor in a hospital, would you do all of your work without getting paid? How could you continue to live, eat, work and……?

Still think this was a good law? Then you need to seriously rethink that position.
And fast.

Poor Future of Medical Care

It’s not only coming, it’s not only knocking at your door – it’s here, it’s starting.

And you had better pay attention.

An article describing the effect that Obamacare will have – I am experiencing. Right now.

Here is the link to the article in question – Scott Gottlieb: The Doctor Won’t See You Now. He’s Clocked Out.

The quality of care is what is being talked about, largely, in that article. But what I have learned directly is that it is fast becoming more expensive to the patient from the get go.

Bottom line for the doctors are that they are leaving their own private practice to become employees of hospitals.

But there is an immediate impact on what you have to pay.

One of my doctors that I see on a regular basis has done this (become an employee of a hospital). He doesn’t bill me. The hospital does. And it’s using different codes when submitting to your employer’s healthcare insurance that you have.

This means, for those of us not yet retired and having group insurance through an employer, you are no longer paying a fixed fee for a “doctor office visit.” Because it is no longer called a doctor visit.

Instead, you are an outpatient.

And that breaks your contract that you may have with your healthcare coverage through your employer.

What I used to pay as a copay ($40) to him, now instead may be closer to several hundred dollars if your deductible hasn’t been met yet.

Can you afford that? At all? What if you are retired on a fixed income?

Starting to get the picture? Because this is indeed happening right now. I tried arguing this point with the hospital, but they do not listen nor care to. They will not relent.

When I contacted my health insurance, I pointed out they still have that doctor, by name and practice, listed as a preferred doctor in their plan then explained his current employment. Fortunately, the insurance company decided to then make an adjusted payment to the hospital.

What has to be determined now is – if that is a one time thing or not.

Feeling nervous yet?