I decided to check the health insurance exchange for my State to see just how affordable health insurance would be if I was to enroll. Turns out I couldn’t afford the least expensive plan at all. Seriously, I couldn’t.
Who can afford $736 a month, roughly $8,840 annually? On top of that, I would have to come out of pocket for medical expenses up to $12,600 before actual coverage begins! That’s more than 20% of my annual household income before taxes.
Here’s the problem, according to CBS:
If you do not get coverage in that time, penalties will go up over time. If you’re an individual the penalty is $95 a year or one percent of your income — whichever is greater. “That’s for next year,” Schlesinger noted. “The cost goes up in the next couple of years, so when we get to the year 2016, it’s $695 per person or 2.5 percent of your income.
What incentive would there be for me or anyone to enroll if I can wait until I’m in need of catastrophic medical attention to do so? I can save thousands by waiting and just paying the fine, which is what people are finding out. This perhaps explains why of the hundreds of thousands of people who checked out the exchanges on the opening day, only hundreds have enrolled. In one State, Louisiana, zero enrolled — no one I know has an extra $736 per month to spend on insurance.
I’d call to complain, but I get the feeling no one would care.