Not to go into something deep and philosophical here, but let me give my personal experience so far.
Every plan I’ve looked at has worse coverage overall and/or costs more than our current insurance. And we had terrible coverage before that was amongst the most expensive available (due to pre-existing conditions). Oh, the new plans have lots of stuff thrown in (i.e., mandated by the ACA) that we don’t care about or are of at best minor financial benefit. But finding a plan that includes our doctor (more on that in a moment) and covers out-of-network providers as well (we don’t mind paying more out-of-network, but we do want freedom to go to whatever doctor we choose) is near impossible.
This is all complicated by a complete breakdown in the technical implementation of the shopping mechanisms for plans. I say mechanisms because this isn’t just that the Healthcare Exchanges weren’t (and still aren’t) ready for real customer use. Existing online sales channels such as eHealthinsurance and individual company websites are also having problems. For example, I finally found a (very expensive) policy that looks acceptable but access to their list of doctors for 2014 is broken. I can’t make any decisions until I can access that list. Even when the exchange works the designs suck. The Colorado one doesn’t let you filter on HMO vs. PPO vs. EPO, for example. And the comparison page doesn’t list the out-of-network benefits. Indeed out-of-network information is very limited on the site overall.
In searching for plans I’ve also noticed how some providers have really narrowed their involvement in the health care system. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is only offering HMO plans, with no out-of-network benefits. Anthem used to be a great provider of PPO plans. And no one has combined HSA with Gold-level PPO plans, you have to take lower tiers of coverage in order to be able to use an HSA to cover your out-of-pocket costs.
“So keep your existing insurance”, you say. “President Obama promised you could”, you say. Sorry, our existing carrier is winding down operations and will go out of business in March 2014. “President Obama promised you could keep your existing doctor”, you say. Well, at best maybe. It looks almost impossible to keep our entire set of existing doctors. And it looks like our choice of doctors in the future will be very limited.
Obamacare “Affordable” Healthcare Act my A*&. Can you say GIANT CLUSTER F&^%? I can.
Venting complete. For now.