President Obama ran both of his campaigns on the premise that he would create a universal, affordable health care plan, replete with options. He followed through on one part of that promise: Obamacare was implemented last week, but it is neither affordable nor teeming with options for consumers, according to WAFF-AL.
Father of six and small business owner, Jeremy Nichols, is experiencing the ill effects of Obamacare firsthand. He recently received an ominous letter from BlueCross BlueShield telling him that his current insurance plan will be cancelled and suggested another one at a much higher rate. The insurance magnate will increase Nichols’ rate from $463 to $1,012.47, a nearly 300 percent increase, for the exact amount of coverage. Of the increase, Nichols said, “I didn’t know what to think, it’s quite a bit.”
Terry Kellogg, President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama offered an explanation for the letter and sudden astronomical rate increase of Nichols’, and surely others’ insurance plans: “The vast majority of our individual products are non –ACA compliant.” He advised consumers to “shop around for the best rate.” This is hardly consolation though, says Nichols, who remains disappointed, citing the lack of insurance options available.
United Healthcare will not participate in Obamacare in Alabama, leaving consumers to choose from the only other two options currently available: BlueCross BlueShield or Humana. Consumers who elect not to buy from those insurance vendors face a fee: $95 a person or 1 percent of their salary, whichever is higher. The penalty will increase each year and will approach the $700 mark per person by 2016. They will also be forced to pay full price at the doctor.
As a father of six, Nichols understands the importance of having insurance and says that the ACA is anything but affordable.
“For most people with large families, it’s going to be a very hard thing for them to afford," he said.