To those of you who, like me, are age 50-64 and not disabled (so, therefore not eligible for Medicade): We are screwed!! That’s right.The Trump Administration has succeeded in dismantling and destroying the Affordable Care Act, and our demographic will pay the biggest price. Pun intended. Because, you see, where before a insurance provider could charge a person (over 50) no more than 3 times the normal premium due to their age, that limit has now been raised to eleven.Yes, eleven times the normal rate.
Well, just because they can doesn’t necessarily mean they will, right? Correct. There’s just one catch, though. Remember that individual mandate everyone hated so much? It gave the insurance market many more customers, which kept the rates down. (Hold that thought while I take a quick poll.) How many people under 40 are going to drop their health insurance now that there won’t be a penalty at tax time? (I know my young and healthy self would!) My guess; more than half. Wonder how the insurance companies will make up for losing that many customers? Oh yeah, they can now charge old people 11x the regular rate. Still think they won’t?
But, hey, there’s a bright side. They’re now going to allow the Healthcare Marketplace to sell these short term plans with minimal coverage and they’ll be much cheaper. So, if the changes mentioned above make your current policy with the “Fairly Decent Insurance Company” no longer affordable, you can always switch to one of these skimpy plans more in your price range. Sure, you won’t get the free preventive care physicals anymore or be able to go to the doc unless it’s really serious, but if you cross your fingers maybe nothing major will come up before you turn 65 and can get medicare. You should be all right.
But, what if you’re not? What if right after you switch companies an issue arises? (When you’re over 50, that’s not such a far fetched possibility) You might not be too worried, your new policy with “El Cheapo Insurance of America” covers serious health problems, right? Of course, unless it was a pre-existing condition, that is. (Another part of Obamacare that got axed) El Cheapo would never try to get out of paying, would they? (Lo siento, mi amigo, no dinero)
So, if you’re at that awkward age – old enough to join the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) but too young to actually retire, you may want to pay attention. Our lawmakers in Washington treat healthcare as a ploy in their game. But, who always loses? Me and you.
Side Note: Our senators and congressman are covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program – for life.