Sign-Ups Excede Expectations But Obamacare Remains Expensive

The deadline for enrollment for Obamacare has passed and President Obama, himself announced that 7.1 million people have signed up for health coverage. While this numerical figure exceeds the administration’s expectations, it seems that it doesn’t truly provide an accurate picture of the future of the Affordable Care Act.

In this instance, yes, we know that 7.1 million is huge victory for Obamacare, but who signed up for them? The uninsured? Those who lost insurance? The elderly? The youth? What’s behind the new health care policy that we don’t know about yet? What other elements of the Affordable Care Act do we not know about as of right now?

So many questions remain unanswered, and what will come within a few months from now? Success or chaos? It’s hard to place trust in a health care system where it has hit numerous road bumps. While yes, Obamacare reached enrollment goals, prices don’t remain at all stagnant.

Obamacare Makes It Unaffordable for the Uninsured

One of the primary goals of Obamacare was to expand health care coverage to the uninsured.

According to reports, a majority of those individuals who signed up already have insurance. So, what’s going on?

It means that the exchanges in the marketplace are unaffordable for those who are uninsured. How about those people, who are insured and signed for insurance under Obamacare? Well, it’s either (a) they found a greater deal under the Affordable Care Act or (b) their insurance changed policies and kicked them off.

What does it mean for Obamacare? Plain and simple: the new health care mandate is not meeting its initial goals. Perhaps this may be due to lack of advertising. Repeated polls indicated that many people remained unaware or expressed confusion at the Affordable Care Act.

The Obama administration has expressed their desire to expand their advertising methods to drive more sign-ups. But maybe in fact, the reason behind the low enrollment is obvious, it’s not affordable.

uninsured-obamacare

Obamacare Alters the Dining Experience

Obamacare is altering our health care system, but it seems it will also change the way we live in some ways.

According to recent report, the dining experience may change thanks to a 1% Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) surcharge added to the restaurant bill. At least, a few restaurants nationwide have taken the initiative to cover health coverage by adding a small monetary fee to patrons’ receipts.

obamacare-surcharge

While this may cause outrage to consumers, it is only done as a means of survival. According to a CNN article, ”‘the costs associated with ACA compliance could close [the restaurant's] doors.

With the fee, restaurants can continue offering full-time employment. While this surcharge is no way tied to Obamacare, it still is a causing factor to the changes.

The employer mandate doesn’t fully take shape until 2016, but companies such as restaurants are preparing it. And they have taken the step to keep their businesses alive and kicking, even it means hurting the banks of their customers. The ending result? Nothing seems affordable anymore.

Entrepreneurs Can’t Afford Obamacare

It’s hard to trust President Obama, especially when it comes to his plans with Obamacare. While he vowed to allow for people who have health plans to remain unchanged, he doesn’t know that because of the Affordable Care Act’s hidden alterations, many small business owners or entrepreneurs have been forced to pay more insurance with costs soaring higher than usual.

Previous reports have stated that because of the changes, small business owners have had to alter their business practices just to accommodate these health care alterations.

According to an article published on Forbes, “more than 78 percent of America’s 28 million businesses are ‘non-employer’ firms, people who create their job and have nobody else on payroll.” In this era, the workforce consists largely of entrepreneurs, which means they buy their own insurance.

What does this mean for them though? It means that entrepreneurs can’t control and choose his health care plan under Obamacare. Many of them hoped to keep their current health coverage but because of the new bylaws set forth by the Affordable Care Act, it is not allowed anymore.

It seems that Obamacare is deeper in trouble. A majority of the public cannot afford so what’s the point of all this? The numbers don’t seem consistent either so therefore in all, the law remains more unpopular than ever. A last fallout may be in the future if Obamcare doesn’t make this all more affordable. At this rate, it might as well be.

On a side note: who saw the Jimmy Kimmel video about Obamacare? See, nobody can afford it.

Obamacare to Shrink Numbers in Full-Time Workers Pool

The Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, has started to take shape this year, but it has also been met with changes in the economy and healthcare industries. With the new regulations, it is predicted that the number of employees currently in the work force, will decrease by more than a staggering 2 million workers by 2016, hurting the economy more than ever.

This recent revelation puts the Democrat Party in defense, while the Republicans aim to use this as an advantage to lift them up in the upcoming midterm elections. According to reports, the new health care mandate pushes people to reduce work hours or even worse, leave their jobs. A primary reason for this prediction? The penalty.

Businesses may decide to reduce their workforce or have more part-time employees so that providing health insurance won’t be mandatory. In addition, new health care policies offer new options for people in which case, they would choose to work less until they become qualified for Medicare; this applies to the older generation.

According to an article by the Huffington Post, the new health care mandate will encourage workers to “‘reduce incentives to work’ and [it will] pose an ‘implicit tax on working’ for those returning to a job with health insurance.”

The options have now empowered people to make certain choices about their health. Since now insurance is not tied to employment, many are choosing to map out the rest of their lives with more flexibility.

Obamacare Priorities Shift

Since its debut last October 1st, the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, managed to garner approximately 2.1 million individuals to sign up for private plans under the health exchange marketplace. While 2.1 million seems like a staggering feat, putting in in the same boat as the remaining 20 million uninsured doesn’t look so dynamic after all.

The administration’s initial projection aimed to have more than 3.3 million people on board by the end of December. However, since the obstacles and mishaps that came along with it during the initial months, it seems priorities have shifted.

Gene Sperling, director of Obama’s National Economic Council, said that numbers do not mean anything anymore to the administration. “There is no magic number. The key is to enroll as many people, have an exchange that`s working…”

But if 20 million people remain uninsured, then why is that? Perhaps the prices don’t meet their standards, even though Obama made it seem like the new health care mandate would have done that so.

It’s a new year and the Obama administration should work on finding a solution for Obamacare’s options, in order to meet various groups’ needs and expectations. In the end, the result will indicate a higher increase in sign-ups and usage.

Obamacare’s Odds Not in Our Favor

The skepticism over Obamacare continues to grow. Two months since its release to the public, gaining a positive approval proves to be a struggle. From a faulty website to policy changes, the health care mandate may play a huge role in the Democrat Party’s downfall – and elections in 2014.

Ironically, the party has long been depended on the success of the Affordable Care Act for voter support. Recent weeks have shed light showing a significantly low percentage in approval rating for the Obama, hurting not only him, but the party in the process.

The promise of the health care revolution has only been proved to only deliver disappointment so far. The first few weeks of Obamacare welcomed a wave of errors, resulting in low numbers in enrollment. Weeks into development, President Obama presented changes that completely altered his initial promises. Because of the latest shortcomings, he lost the trust of many people, including leaders in the same political party as him.

In order to win the favor of others again, he must create a new policy that will make health insurance affordable for all.

Can’t afford Obamacare? Cheat the Tax Penalty

Obamacare Cheat Sheet

If you can’t afford Obamacare

Like most laws in life, Obamacare has its loopholes. The stipulations attached to the health insurance plans offered on the health exchanges have their faults.

For those who do and don’t want insurance, here’s how to make the un-Affordable Care Act – well, affordable.

Fast Facts

  • The Tax Penalty is unenforceable except when deducted from a tax return
  • The Tax Penalty does not apply if you have paid coverage 9/12 months of the year
  • If you’ve paid 1 month’s coverage, you qualify for a 3 month “grace period” to delay payments
  • There is no repercussion for dropping or being dropped from your plan because of payments
  • Even if you’re dropped from coverage one year, you can re-enroll the next
  • You cannot be denied from a qualified subsidy unless you neglect to file taxes the year prior

Obamacare Explained

Tax Penalty – You don’t have to pay it!

Guess what? There is no obligation to pay the penalty. The government and IRS cannot send you to Obamacare jail, or prohibit you from purchasing subsidized healthcare on the exchange in subsequent years, as long as you continue to file your taxes.

If the IRS owes you money on a tax return, then the unpaid Obamacare penalty will be deducted from your return. Other than that: you can’t be penalized.

So, that $95 fine that seemed like no big deal this year, but seemed like a $400+ concern in years to come? It’s nothing. Keep your head down, file your taxes and ignore the penalty. They’ll deduct it if and when they can, but you don’t need to go out of pocket.

What happens to my tax penalty – I know I don’t have to pay it – if I have coverage part of the year

?

The Healthcare.gov language says this: “If you’re uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured. If you’re uninsured for less than 3 months, you don’t have a make a payment.”

So, this year, it’s $7.91 for each month of 2014 that you do not pay for insurance or do not have coverage.  (Unless you pay for 9/12 months, then you’re penalty-free).

I want basic catastrophic coverage, but I just can’t afford a whole year of premiums. Even with the subsidy.

Fair enough: 12 months is a long time to pay for something you don’t need every month of the year. This is especially true when the monthly premium sounds something like $250 or $500, versus $50 or $100.

Here’s the catch: under any plan purchased on the exchange with an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC), there’s a three month “grace period.”

As long as you have paid at least ONE MONTH’s premium, you have a three month grace period by which you may neglect to pay your premiums and you will NOT be dropped from coverage. Some claims may appear as “pending,” but if you avoid frequent doctor and prescription fees during this time, you should be okay.

So, pay every other month! Pay the first 9 and not the final 3! Then enroll in next year’s coverage! You cannot be denied coverage and subsidy under the exchange unless you do not file your taxes. (Plus, by only neglecting payment during the final 3 month grace period, you won’t be saddled with the unenforceable penalty.)

I need a quick procedure. It will take 2 months of doctor’s visits and then I’m done.

Well, you probably won’t even exceed your deductible during that 2 month period (sorry, but it’s the truth, can’t help that).

But, other than that, easy! Sign up, get the plan, get the subsidy & coverage – and then drop out! There’s no penalization and you cannot be turned down because of a pre-existing medical condition.

Recent Obamacare updates worth knowing:

  • There was a recent fix which allows state insurers to delay the cancellation of plans considered sub-par to Obamacare requirements. If you live in Oregon, Utah, Hawaii, Wyoming, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina or Ohio – you can keep your plan.  Most states are still deciding what they will allow to happen – and some states (the “successfully implemented states”) will not be allowing a year reprieve (Washington, Minnesota, Indiana, New York, Maryland, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island).
  • The government still hasn’t set up the means by which to pay subsidies to the insurers. So if the insurer isn’t getting paid for their services by January – yikes. We’ll see what happens there.

Obamacare Makeover Sparks Low Expectations

Enrollment numbers were expected to be released at this point, but we are still waiting for it. The House plans to once again challenge the Obama administration and this time it’s due to the Obamacare website’s security risks. This aspect is magnified at the present moment.

The Republican-led House questions the level of security that comes with such a faulty website. Thousands of Americans started to submit their personal information during the enrollment process. However, a few people remain skeptical over the new health care mandate. Because of the previous glitches last month, it prompted head officials to closely examine function and feature of the website.

Reports indicate only around 100,000 people have finished the enrollment process on HealthCare.gov and the state-run Obamacare websites so far. This numeric figure is well below the enrollment figures the administration was expecting by this point.

The low numbers possibly indicate the lack of options and affordability Obamacare presents. The point of this new health care mandate is to ensure every person in America has health coverage. But how is that possible if some can’t even afford it? President Obama and his administration needs to sit down and restructure Obamacare, especially the website. Numerous money is spent, but results display low quality. They need to act fast or else, they will need to battle the critics from the public in the months, even years, ahead.

Obamacare Administrator Issues Apology

After this past weekend’s mishap, the website is reportedly back up live online, as of yesterday morning. The head of the federal agency in charge of the creation of the website, has recently issued a formal apology for its unpleasant start.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. After a month since its roll out to the public, sign ups for health coverage have been disastrous with website crashes and glitches cited as the primary causes.

Despite the fix, there are plans for further investigation to be conducted because of many unanswered questions. It will take some time for the majority of the public to trust such a faulty website, but the administration appears hopeful.

A hearing was held today to clear the air. As the situation shows, many people appear confused at the bylaws and policies presented by Obamacare. They seem certain that if one had insurance, they can keep it – but there’s a trick.

In fact, Obamacare was “designed to redress the plight of Americans lacking health security — either because they lacked any health insurance, or because the only insurance they could obtain was so skimpy it failed to make access to necessary medical care remotely affordable.”

What is considered affordable then? Obamacare doesn’t seem worth the money to spend for me. There’s lack of options offered to those seeking coverage and it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.

Barack Obama

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