I got a letter in the mail from Blue Cross Blue Shield over the weekend that my $184/mo. calamity health insurance (EmpireBlue Hospital Plus, to be exact) will no longer be offered in the new year.
I was initially disappointed to lose my sad compromise between paying $761/mo. for COBRA and going without the way I did when I was 22 (and 23, and 24), but I am taking its new prohibition under the Affordable Care Act as a sign that it is probably a complete rip-off. Mother Jones’ “The Real Story Behind the Phony Canceled Health Insurance Scandal” confirms my suspicions:
The ACA was designed specifically to prevent insurance companies from peddling lousy insurance plans and to force these firms to replace these subpar products with affordable plans providing better and effective coverage. The plans being canceled are ending because they offered insufficient coverage—and only a few years ago both Rs and Ds were upset about these kinds of plans. But there’s been collective amnesia about the shoddy plans that GOPers have happily exploited in recent days. Perhaps Obama should have said, “Those of you who obtain insurance on the individual market can keep your plans unless it’s the sort of rip-off plan the ACA will forbid. Otherwise, you will be offered new options that actually give you decent coverage at a decent price.”
I never did use my calamity insurance—mostly because you can only use it if you get hit by a car or your appendix bursts or something else “life-threatening” happens that sends you to the hospital—and god-willing, I won’t in the next two months either. That means I’ll have paid a total of $1,472 this year for what amounts to a very relative peace of mind (I say relative because sure, my ER visit would be covered, but I fear for anyone with this insurance who needs long-term care). Maybe it’s worth it, but regular old health insurance, even at double the cost, sure will be nice.
Photo: leoncillo sabillo