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Health Insurance Choices Limited by Obamacare

October 21, 2010

So much for making health insurance more affordable for all Americans! When I left my most recent job one of the things I had to do was purchase a private health insurance plan for Becks and the kids.  I found one through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (“BCBS”) that offered good benefits, a reasonable deductible at a decent price.  The need for having Becks on the plan recently changed when she was hired by the Leon County School District. She is going to be able to have great insurance through her employer but the difference between an employee and a family plan was pretty steep.   

As a result I called BCBS to see about a child only plan.  I figured this would be the perfect solution and enable us to save a little money each month.  The first person I spoke to indicated I could get a child only plan for Mason and Julia for between $150 and $200 a month.  I was happy and he transferred me to a sales agent to finalize the details. 

However, I was advised by the second BCBS employee that child only plans were no longer offered in Florida by the major insurance carriers as a result of Obamacare. He stated that it was an unintended consequence of the legislation and that I would need to purchase coverage for Becks or I even though we each had insurance in order for the kids to have a policy.

I was angry. Why would I want to buy insurance for Becks and I if we already had it through our jobs? He explained that they had done this because they were forced to insure all children regardless of pre-existing condition and our premiums were subsidizing the higher costs of those plans.  The best he could do was send me some price quotes and hung up the phone.

 Most people would have left it at that, stewed for a little while and moved on. Not me, I called Congressman Allen Boyd’s office and spoke with a member of his staff. I informed them that as a direct result of Congressman Boyd voting for the health care law, after he vowed he would not, he was costing me a couple of extra hundred dollars per month. 

I also asked the unfortunate staffer what a person who could not afford a family insurance plan was supposed to do? With the elimination of child only plans their options were limited to high deductible ones that for all practical purposes were useless. Their option then became forgo insurance and use state/county services resulting in higher costs to all taxpayers.  She had no answer and said she would pass my concerns onto the Congressman.  I am sure any notes she took ended up in the trash can.

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