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5 things we now know about Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act's bumpy October has revealed some things about the law that we didn't know -- or had forgotten. Here's a look at the lay of land.

By Money Staff Oct 31, 2013 11:37AM

This post comes from Rob Berger at partner site The Dough Roller.


Dough Roller on MSN MoneyWe’ve learned a lot about Obamacare in the past week. While the trouble with the website has monopolized the news, the site will eventually get fixed. What’s here to stay, however, are the lasting changes the Affordable Care Act has made to health care and medical insurance.


Doctor sitting in office with patient talking and smiling © Paul Bradbury, OJO Images, Getty ImagesHere are the five things we now know about Obamacare that could affect your health insurance and medical care.


1. Premiums will go up for many people

Notwithstanding promises to the contrary, it’s now clear that premiums will be going up for many. Why? There are three key reasons.


First, Obamacare requires all health insurance plans to meet certain standards. The intention behind the rule was to make sure that policies meet what government officials deemed to be minimally acceptable standards. They call these standards “Essential Benefits.” While some view this as protecting consumers, the protection comes at a price. Lower cost policies that do not meet these standards are being cancelled by insurance companies and replaced with more expensive polices.


Second, the policies don’t have any spending caps. While there may be good policy reasons for this rule, it comes at a significant cost that will be paid by those buying the insurance.


Third, health insurance companies can’t charge more if you have a pre-existing condition. While such a rule helps those who previously were uninsurable, it also comes with a cost. The cost is born by those who do not have a pre-existing condition. How? Those who are healthy will pay more for insurance than they otherwise would to offset the cost of insuring those with existing medical conditions.


2. Many people will lose their current insurance

Contrary to promises made when Obamacare became law, it’s now clear that millions will be unable to keep their current policies. As noted above, Obamacare requires health insurance to cover certain Essential Benefits. The law was written to allow some existing policies to be grandfathered from this requirement, allowing people to keep less expensive policies.


Regulations written to implement the law, however, gutted the grandfather provision. According to CBS News, more than 2 million will get booted from their existing coverage.


3. You don't have to buy through the exchanges

One fact lost in all the noise is that in most cases one doesn’t have to buy individual health insurance through the exchanges. Consumers can still buy insurance through sites like For the moment, however, consumers must go through the exchanges if they qualify for and want to take advantage of subsidies. 

4. Obamacare is immensely complicated

Obamacare is an extremely complicated law. That fact is nothing new. But the recent problems surrounding underscore just how complex the new law is. Perhaps the most complicated aspect are the subsidies. Information must be obtained from the IRS to determine if an individual qualifies for a subsidy, and if so, for how much. This information, along with information about the insured, must then be transmitted to the insurance carrier. The result is a website that thus far has cost more than $600 million to build. That’s less than Facebook spent in its first six years of operation.


5. The exchanges offer limited choice of doctors

To keep costs down, many insurance companies in the exchanges limited the number of doctors in the network. The policies tend to have fewer hospital networks, and many don’t have academic medical centers in the network, according to CNN. The result is that shoppers will need to make sure the doctors and hospitals they want are available with the insurance they buy.


More from The Dough Roller


Oct 31, 2013 12:22PM

I can't believe it. MSN actually has an article that is fair and balanced. I can't wait for the independents that swayed the election to Odumbo get hit with the higher premiums. I will get a large popcorn and sit back and watch the show. The previews have been splendid so far.


"We have to pass it to see what's in it."

"If you like your plan you can keep it."

"It will only cost $xx."

"Your premiums will go down."

"It's not a tax."

"It is a tax."

Michelle Obummer's college pal got the no bid contract and f'd it up.

Hundreds of plans exempted for those connected to the democrat party.

Hundreds of thousands had hours reduced below 30/week due to ACA.


And this is just the beginning folks.







Oct 31, 2013 12:09PM
Oct 31, 2013 12:53PM

Fool us one term shame on Barry.  Fooled us two terms, Shame on the American People for being SO stupid.  What a travesty.


This is really not a Dem Vs. Repub issue though.  Our Government is screwing us over more and more every day.  Look at the big picture, it's too obvious not to see it.


Sad thing is most of you sheep will bend over and take it, mindlessly glued to your stupid time wasting "social" media distractions and still run around supporting Obama.  Wow people, just wow.



Oct 31, 2013 12:50PM
Maybe they should have taken some time to read the bill before they passed it!
Oct 31, 2013 12:55PM
Obama and his evil minions Pelosi, and Reid, have lied time and time again. Now, all of the people who thought Obama was the great savior of the middle class are NOW realizing what a disgrace he truely is, Too bad they couldn't see it after his first term. Had this come out in 2010, he wouldn't have been re-elected in 2012
Oct 31, 2013 12:59PM
Oct 31, 2013 12:50PM
#6....obummercare may sink the democrats in 2014
Oct 31, 2013 12:58PM
Any intelligent person should know by now that when Obama's lips are moving they are being lied to.
Oct 31, 2013 12:50PM
the middle class will be gone  we cant support every body  rich or poverty thanks obama
Oct 31, 2013 12:53PM
The 6th thing we know about Obamacare is Obammy is a lying POS.
Oct 31, 2013 1:12PM
I think that it is imperative that all of our Elected Officials from the President on down be forced to partake in Obama Care.
Oct 31, 2013 1:02PM

Considering our Constitution only has 45,000 words that we have honored and survived for over 200 years, and this Odumbocare contains over 5 BILLION WORDS, could be we are in for the ride of our lives.

People, no matter your party affiliation, we all need to wake-up and get back to the basics our founding fathers anticipated for our great nation.

All of these fools are lying to us everyday. None of them could survive a "Middle class lifestyle".

Let's hesitate passing judgment on each other because of party affiliation and take a closer look at our "LEADERS".


The government does not support us , WE SUPPORT THEM!

Oct 31, 2013 12:58PM
Oct 31, 2013 12:56PM
They left one off the list. We get screwed.
Oct 31, 2013 12:54PM

Don't worry guys!


You can keep your doctor and your insurance plan. It will be cheaper for everyone, and it won't add a dime to the deficit. YAY


Oct 31, 2013 1:07PM
1. If you have a JOB and earn money, YOUR SCREWED.

2. Life is to precious to have bumbling idiots in charge of you insurance.

3. Don't trust the federal government to handle your LIFE.

4. Pray for a REAL PRESIDENT in 2016

5. Ask to have everything to be ABOLISHED in 2017. 
Oct 31, 2013 12:53PM
I am surprised that there are only 4 comments on this article right now. Usually every political article has hundred to thousands of people giving their opinion. It is interesting to me that that now tat MSN has finally written something that is not in support of the Libs and Obama fans, that there are so few comments. Guess MSN finally shut up the overly vocal 47%.
Oct 31, 2013 12:57PM
now that my brothers and sisters have obama phones , obama homes , obama loans , i your great benefactor hussein obama now present you with obama care paid for by the white devils who have held my people down......can you say amen ? yes its coming dear brothers and sisters ! the day of judgement has arrived ! we're gonna eat our fill before we're pushed away from the table again .
Oct 31, 2013 12:06PM
"The result is a website that thus far has cost more than $600 million to build. That’s less than Facebook spent in its first six years of operation."

My breakfast cost less than Facebook spent in its first six years of operation. That's not a very meaningful value. I think this poor writer meant *more* and not *less*. But it's rather strange to confuse a word with its antonym.
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