Smart SpendingSmart Spending

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 HealthCare.gov 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 eHealthInsurance.com. 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 HealthCare.gov 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

 

1882Comments
Oct 31, 2013 12:22PM
avatar

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
avatar

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
avatar
Maybe they should have taken some time to read the bill before they passed it!
Oct 31, 2013 12:55PM
avatar
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
avatar
#6....obummercare may sink the democrats in 2014
Oct 31, 2013 12:58PM
avatar
Any intelligent person should know by now that when Obama's lips are moving they are being lied to.
Oct 31, 2013 12:50PM
avatar
the middle class will be gone  we cant support every body  rich or poverty thanks obama
Oct 31, 2013 12:53PM
avatar
The 6th thing we know about Obamacare is Obammy is a lying POS.
Oct 31, 2013 1:12PM
avatar
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
avatar

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".

THEY ARE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY, "YOUR MONEY"!!!!!!!!!!

The government does not support us , WE SUPPORT THEM!

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

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
avatar
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
avatar
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
avatar
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
avatar
"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.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More