By: Stan Park
Many of us have read, watched, and heard about Obamacare. We have heard about the failed, delayed, and last-minute adjustments to Obamacare. And it appears many in power still want to do away with Obamacare.
So where exactly can I buy this Obamacare? Funny you should ask. As you look for health insurance to buy, you can buy UnitedHealthcare, you can enroll in Medicare but in reality you can’t buy Obamacare.
Obamacare is purely a moniker ascribed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This moniker is embraced by all sides on the issue—so it has gained credibility as a term. Unfortunately, when we hear the term “…care” we think of open arms or comfort. We don’t think of reams of paper outlining a vast array of legal mandates and jargon.
But that is exactly what we have in the ACA. When each of you woke up in 2014, Walgreens and CVS still existed; the local urgent care still accepted patients; Duke, Baptist, and Presbyterian (hospitals, not chapels) all still thrived; and yes, BCBS, UHC, and Aetna all still sought premium payments for your health insurance coverage.
What is the observation? With all that has changed, for many of us the changes are simply with the same players. A proverbial reshuffling of the deck. Nonetheless, reshuffling can have big impacts. Clients and individuals need to have good guidance on what to do with the new order. A simple example is the small business tax credit that still exists in 2014, but only if the small business buys the qualified Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) plan from BCBS—and only BCBS. Maintain your qualified plan with another carrier and the credit you claimed in 2013 won’t pass muster.
With so many of the same players involved, there will be many misunderstandings. If there truly was a new insurance plan called Obamacare, if there truly was a new delivery system, if all individuals made the same, predictable decisions then, in my opinion, we would really experience reform.
Stan Park is President of Craft Insurance in Greensboro. Stan brings 24 years of industry experience with a focus on employee benefit plan design and development. Having served on the local association of Health Underwriters and receiving numerous awards within the industry, Stan’s ability to help client’s navigate the unchartered waters of health care reform are notable. Additionally, Craft has continued to grow from its’ inception 80 years ago. Focused on providing understanding and development of solutions for our clients is paramount. Stan is married with 2 daughters.