5 responses to “Discussion: How will the Affordable Care Act affect freelancers?”

  1. Frank

    I’ve paid for individual medical coverage in California since the age of 31 (I’m 55 now), and initially had trouble getting covered due to a stint at alcohol rehab at 23 (haven’t had a drink since)-I got in by joining a group plan administered by the national Chamber of Commerce (good coverage for $100/mo), and when I moved offices across the LA county line from Ventura County noticed my coverage more than doubled, and my broker recommended that I switch into Blue Cross -and premiums went back down to previous rates.

    Eventually I got married/had a child (set them up on seperate policies) and over the last 10-15 years watched our rates soar to the point that we were looking at $1200/month in premiums to continue our existing plans. Due to the state of CA suing Blue Cross we were able to significantly cut our premiums by changing coverages without medical underwriting (an issue for me with type II diabetes) and by shifting my wife/daughter into underwritten plans successfully-and were able to get our premiums down to about $700/month with a decent prescription drug benefit, yet higher deductibles.

    We did receive an Obamacare cancellation notice this month (and expect to be shifted into compliant plans not sold on the exchanges)-the issue is going to be whether or not the rates are worth keeping insured or not. Our prescriptions are generic, so I don’t think we have drug cost issues-so as of now we have to wait and see how this is going to turn out.

    The Silver exchange plan represents a premium increase of $370/month; the bronze plan about $100/mo (and is pretty much a catastrophic plan IMHO), and does not cover drugs. When we see what the options are, we may well decide to buy Bronze but pay cash for routine doctor visits or go uninsured altogether and pay the fine (knowing we can get covered if necessary). We are not eligible for subsidies; and I’m expecting a rough 2014 financially so paying the increased rate is out of the question.

    My take-if you have preexisting conditions it’s good, but the healthy and young are going to be hurt financially (higher rates, less flexibility); at the end of the day this is not going to work without either repeal and/or major revision of the law.

  2. Laura

    My husband and I are currently paying for COBRA coverage from his last job; the availability of the ACA options makes it much more likely that he’s going to try to start his own business full-time rather than go back to a ‘regular’ job and do it on the side. I’ve been a freelancer for several years but have been covered under his policy – if I’d been single, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to afford individual insurance, assuming I even qualified for it.

    I don’t personally know a lot of people who don’t have insurance, but I know a lot of people who feel limited in the jobs they can look at, or have really struggled after being laid-off to pay the COBRA premiums.

  3. EP

    I just don’t know. The federal government creates a health care plan that it controls. And then it sets the rules for the private plans, too?

    Where will this “public option” everybody is talking about be if the competitors end up getting put out of business?

    I don’t necessarily trust the private sector folks, but I sure don’t trust the government here. How should I put it? The private sector CAN mess things up and often does. The government ALWAYS messes things up eventually.