As of this writing, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has taken effect, and the new presidential administration is attempting to “repeal and replace” this law. Individual and company sponsored health plans have been drastically affected. Premiums increasing, deductibles increasing, benefits reducing…a lot of changes.
In addition, most of the major providers of individual health plans left the middle Tennessee area effective 12/31/17, so more people were affected in that their provider no longer offered coverage to their subscribers.
The ACA has benefitted a lot of people nationally in that there are now no “pre-existing conditions” on current plans that have kept a lot of people from purchasing coverage…especially in the individual markets. In addition, there is no lifetime maximum limit on policies. Where this really helps is in a scenario that starts from birth.
Let’s say your wife gives birth to premature twins. They spend over two months in neo-natal intensive care. Each of them could be a $1,000,000 of healthcare claims before you even bring them home. In the old days, they would have exhausted their lifetime maximum because it used to be $1,000,000. This is a great benefit!
This is a good thing for many. However, for many younger, healthier people, it has increased their premiums significantly and many are choosing to go without current coverage. Needless to say, the drastic increase in monthly health insurance, even for catastrophic coverage, has put a damper on people’s ability to fund their retirement plans and other discretionary financial wants.
With regards to my observation, the main thing is that you have some type of catastrophic coverage. Regardless of the premium, deductible, or benefits…have some type of plan in place to prevent financial disaster in the event of a significant health event…either accident or illness.
Per a 2009 cnn.com article, 62% of all bankruptcies are filed because of medical bills. Big castle, big moat, remember? Moats protect both assets and income.