Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

(Not) Affordable Care Act


The discussion by Insurance Commissioner, Monica Lindeen, in the guest column of the March 23 Missoulian supporting the Affordable Care Act caught my attention.

As a subscriber to an individual Blue Shield Health Plan for 20 years, I am an expert in the mine field of “reforms.”

For example:

1)   Highest annual deductible (out of pocket before insurance pays anything) used to be $2000. That plan is so expensive, now highest deductible is $5000.

2) Sacred 80-20 copayment that lasted for decades has been upped to 70-30. That is 30% copayment after deductible.

3) For decades there was a small flat fee for doctor office visits. Not anymore. It is part of one’s annual deductible.

4) For decades age-based rates were in ten-year increments. Not anymore. A high rate class hits every 5 years.

5)   Underwriting: This is the great white shark. There are now 3 tiers of rates depending on how sick you get. The new law will require underwriting to take people with pre-existing conditions. How will they afford the premium rates?

6) The cost! I had to quit when I turned 60. I received 3 separate rate increases in four months, costing $700 per month.

This Care Act will be everything but affordable!

Krista Ober


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