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AP: With health law, workers ponder the I-Quit option
Old 03-21-2014, 09:02 AM   #1
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AP: With health law, workers ponder the I-Quit option

This is an interesting, though somewhat light in the reporting, article regarding the new found freedom that some feel to quit their jobs because they can obtain health insurance through the ACA.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/health...060051834.html

"Federal experts believe the new insurance option will be a powerful temptation for a lot of job-weary workers ready to bail out. Last month, congressional budget analysts estimated that within 10 years, the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers could be working less because of the expanded coverage."
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #2
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I know when doing the iQuit, health insurance was the final piece of the puzzle. This was back in 2008 but I was healthy enough to get a private policy so it was see you later alligator to Megacorp.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:39 AM   #3
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I think it is funny when people who are against the ACA or maybe just against anything tied to the current President argue that this aspect of the law that lets people use the ACA to quit is "another" "bad" aspect of this law! They usually frame it as making people lazy, reducing employment, noting reduced number of workers, etc.
I don't get it- if I were an employer whom would I want working for me- people who want to be working there or people who only remain working there because they have to in order to have health insurance? Which group is likely to be the better employees? Is a fearful dependent employee really better than a satisfied employee? Isn't this ability to separate health insurance from employment an example of "if you love someone, set them free, etc....?"
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:49 AM   #4
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Reading the article, it speaks of "job lock" . One IT worker interviewed said he was "terrified" of leaving his IT job with health benefits before the aca was upheld.

The "terrified" now are managers who have hard to replace employees with special skills /tallents , and the current employee is no longer locked in the job.

Myself, I plan to retire from civil service early next year , with subsidzed, but not free healthcare. If the aca was in place 5-10 years ago , I would have left a job I don't like. I was "job Locked" for 2 decades . No access to private insurance with pre-existing conditions.

California was a "take or reject" state on pre existing health conditions. No exclusions were allowed , so the insurance industry just chose to reject in most cases. The insurers could write the policy with higher rates, but usually would just deny coverage instead.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
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True story: About 8 years ago I, along with a few of my co-workers, wanted to break off from Megacorp and form a small engineering firm, where we could provide better and more-tailored engineering and technical support to several govt and industry clients at a cheaper cost. We spent many, many weekends and weeknights ironing out our business plan, including shopping for health insurance - a necessity for all of us. Health insurance proved to be the ultimate stumbling block with moving forward. My co-workers were all in their 50s and a few in their early 60s, some with previous health issues, and coverage for a small business with that demographic was just too cost-prohibitive.

Sometimes the iQuit isn't just iQuit to follow my retirement dream but is really about the iQuit so I can move on to creating my own business or pursuing some other opportunity that wasn't possible because I was locked into my megacorp job. Removing the pre-existing condition issue and requiring a minimum basic insurance coverage is huge. Especially for folks that want to ER (or start their own business!)

I'd like to see the tie between work and insurance eliminated altogether.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:02 AM   #6
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At the mega-corp DH retired from, you cannot retire any earlier than 55 to receive retiree medical (which is subsidized premiums). It is part of the defined benefit package. If we give up retiree medical, we give it up for good.

If you were under 55 and had not yet retired, how comfortable would you feel about jumping into the ACA? At this stage in the game, I'm not sure we'd risk it due to pricing and availability (or lack thereof) of doctors.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
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At our megacorp, the retiree medical subsidy can be eliminated at any time megacorp decides it is too costly (or does not provide "value" to stockholders) to continue the benefit.

At that point, I'm sure those that ER'd will be happy the ACA is there for them.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I know when doing the iQuit, health insurance was the final piece of the puzzle. This was back in 2008 but I was healthy enough to get a private policy so it was see you later alligator to Megacorp.
Yep, same here - with pre-existing conditions my future retirement was going to be problematic insurance-wise, so the ACA changed everything for me. It's also way past time that we got past the insurance tied to employment scheme that we've had, so no matter how people feel about the law these two changes have made it worthwhile.

Oh yeah, and the subsidies for not having much of a taxable income after retirement are just icing on the cake and the source of a lot of the resentment about the law I presume.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #9
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Sometimes the iQuit isn't just iQuit to follow my retirement dream but is really about the iQuit so I can move on to creating my own business or pursuing some other opportunity that wasn't possible because I was locked into my megacorp job. Removing the pre-existing condition issue and requiring a minimum basic insurance coverage is huge. Especially for folks that want to ER (or start their own business!)

I'd like to see the tie between work and insurance eliminated altogether.
Generally agree, but do not see overall impact of ACA per se as being that positive. HIPAA (Kennedy-Kassebaum, 1996) eliminated the pre-existing exclusion when changing HI plans (e.g. between jobs or going from group to indiv plan), and many states already had laws barring PEE's as well. I know several folks who left megacorp's to start small businesses before ACA, but agree PEE's were an issue in some states for folks who had a sig time gap in HI coverage. ACA or not, cost (inc. deductibles/co-pays/oop Max) remains a huge issue for unsubsidized plans in many regions, and small business exchange (promise of lower costs via more HI competition) has been delayed by Executive Order. In addition, the economic impact of additional taxes & employer mandates of ACA have yet to play out.


I fully agree that the link between HI & employment should be severed, and ACA was a huge failure in this regard. Since businesses continue to deduct cost of HI for their employees but the individual can not there is still huge functional tie between HI & employment for all but the heavily subsidized or very wealthy. IMHO A better system would have been direct individual tax credits (& deductions for expenses above the credit) to pay for your own (family) HI in an open & transparent marketplace (inc. allowing interstate HI plan sales, broader plan options, required disclosure of provider networks, etc., etc.).
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:25 AM   #10
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I visited a retired friend last weekend who lives in a beautiful mega-mansion on St Pete's Bay. He sold his consulting firm a few years ago and he and his wife retired. They were horrified to learn that neither of them could get insurance (she had cancer and he had a heart issue). Both had assumed that with enough money they would be able to buy something but no such luck. His wife went to work at a non-challenging office job to get a family health plan until Medicare kicks in a little more than two years from now. Interestingly, their experience with being denied has left them so gun shy that they don't trust that the ACA will get them thru to the finish line. Even though they have plenty of money she plans to work until the end of this year and then take the 18 month COBRA extension on her work plan. I guess living in FL might make you fell that ACA is vulnerable to disappearing in a puff of smoke given the right election results. My take is that the opponents to ACA would make some significant changes (maybe slashing supplements) but there is no way anyone is going to allow a general return to denial due to pre-existing conditions. So, back to the OP, workers will still see options for insurance regardless of changes in Administration..
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:03 PM   #11
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Generally agree, but do not see overall impact of ACA per se as being that positive. HIPAA (Kennedy-Kassebaum, 1996) eliminated the pre-existing exclusion when changing HI plans (e.g. between jobs or going from group to indiv plan), and many states already had laws barring PEE's as well. I know several folks who left megacorp's to start small businesses before ACA, but agree PEE's were an issue in some states for folks who had a sig time gap in HI coverage. ACA or not, cost (inc. deductibles/co-pays/oop Max) remains a huge issue for unsubsidized plans in many regions, and small business exchange (promise of lower costs via more HI competition) has been delayed by Executive Order. In addition, the economic impact of additional taxes & employer mandates of ACA have yet to play out.


I fully agree that the link between HI & employment should be severed, and ACA was a huge failure in this regard. Since businesses continue to deduct cost of HI for their employees but the individual can not there is still huge functional tie between HI & employment for all but the heavily subsidized or very wealthy. IMHO A better system would have been direct individual tax credits (& deductions for expenses above the credit) to pay for your own (family) HI in an open & transparent marketplace (inc. allowing interstate HI plan sales, broader plan options, required disclosure of provider networks, etc., etc.).
And the fact that the younger, healthy generation is not signing up will ultimatley drive the cost of the ACA upwards over the coming years. It's great that individuals with pre-existing conditions can now get insurance, but what happens in the future when it becomes unaffordable? And wasn't the biggest reason Obama's plan was enacted so that the 30-45 million (depending on who you ask) unisured in this country could get AFFORDABLE healthcare? Guess that's not working!

Devastating: 90 Percent of Uninsured Haven't Signed Up For Obamacare, Most Cite High Costs - Guy Benson

Mike
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:29 PM   #12
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Just a different slant from the articles that originally came out a few weeks ago about "losing" 2M jobs. Same facts, different spins. This one actually seemed to read the report.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:40 PM   #13
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And the fact that the younger, healthy generation is not signing up will ultimatley drive the cost of the ACA upwards over the coming years. It's great that individuals with pre-existing conditions can now get insurance, but what happens in the future when it becomes unaffordable?
Yes, I think costs go up to cover folks with pre-existing conditions. If the choice, however, is to cover or not cover people with pre-existing conditions, I'll go with covering them and paying more. You never know when it will by you or yours that falls in that category.

I never got the "younger, healthy" generation part of the ACA where college-aged students are being marketed to join the ACA. Now that parents can keep their kids through age 26 on their plans (even if they are married, employed, non-dependent, etc) I would think most of them are already covered and don't need to purchase their own plan. Most age 27+ folks I'm assuming have employer coverage. Or maybe not. Maybe there are a lot of employers that don't provide coverage.

In any case, I think there is very little in the ACA that will control the ever-escalating costs of healthcare that have been ongoing long before the ACA rolled around. There is zero political will on either side to address cost issues. There are far too many fingers in the healthcare pie and it is a complex, patchwork system across 50 states. It can't be fixed with a catchy soundbite solution. I admit that I have wondered if the mandate may be the catalyst that, at some future time, will force us all to figure out cost-control.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:43 PM   #14
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Generally agree, but do not see overall impact of ACA per se as being that positive. HIPAA (Kennedy-Kassebaum, 1996) eliminated the pre-existing exclusion when changing HI plans (e.g. between jobs or going from group to indiv plan), and many states already had laws barring PEE's as well.
Our COBRA conversion / HIPAA plan choices were all ~$2,300 a month with higher deductibles than our current ACA plan. Last year we spent $50K on premiums, co-pays, out of pocket costs, etc. as one family member had an expensive surgery.

This year our ACA premiums are under $200 a month (not savings, total payments) with lower out of pocket costs.

The ACA isn't a failure for us. It is a Godsend.

The median household income in the U.S. is $50K a year, so what good was the HIPPA law without any caps on the premiums? How many families in the U.S. realistically can afford $20 - $30K in annual health care premiums alone?
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by danwhite77 View Post
This is an interesting, though somewhat light in the reporting, article regarding the new found freedom that some feel to quit their jobs because they can obtain health insurance through the ACA.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/health...060051834.html

"Federal experts believe the new insurance option will be a powerful temptation for a lot of job-weary workers ready to bail out. Last month, congressional budget analysts estimated that within 10 years, the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers could be working less because of the expanded coverage."

One of the things I do not understand is what is going to happen to those positions IOW, you would think that they have a job because a job needs to be done... if someone quits because they can get health insurance due to ACA, won't the company fill that job


I see this as a benefit to workers...
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:03 PM   #16
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The ACA wasn't a factor in my decision to ER, but the subsidized rates (at least in Wash state) are very attractive and have helped my wife feel more comfortable with my opting out.

I think the ACA is a step in a positive direction, but will utlimately need a significant overhaul as not enough young people are signing up to keep rates relatively affordable in the coming years.

The ACA was basically a love note to the health insurance companies, a source of premiums that they weren't getting before.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:06 PM   #17
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Are we at single payor yet?
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:12 PM   #18
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Are we at single payor yet?
Many of us were there long ago.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:16 PM   #19
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. My take is that the opponents to ACA would make some significant changes (maybe slashing supplements) but there is no way anyone is going to allow a general return to denial due to pre-existing conditions. So, back to the OP, workers will still see options for insurance regardless of changes in Administration..
+1

While I suspect that the ACA will be significantly different in 10 years, I can't imagine going back to the previous system of exclusions and refusal for people unfortunate enough to have been sick. There are many ways to have health care for everybody. Here is a large table of how European countries do it, and it varies quite a bit, though ultimately there is always an underlying government mandate:

http://xnet.kp.org/kpinternational/d...Comparison.pdf
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:32 PM   #20
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I retired earlier this month after 25 years of service with Megacorp due to the ability to obtain a private health plan with no medical questions through the federal portal of the Healthcare.gov website. My position was posted as an opening which will allow someone to move up the ladder.
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