DO NOT READ THIS POST

Do not read this post. I’m warning you with peace and love. Click on another blog. Go no further. You’ll be sorry.

I need to vent. Some vents can be entertaining but this isn’t one of those. This one is going to be boring. I can’t imagine it being of interest to anyone, but I need to get this shit off my chest or I’m going to explode.

I’m one of those people you’ve read about who’s about to lose his healthcare insurance policy due to the Affordable Care Act. Currently, I have what’s referred to in the insurance industry as an “overload” policy. Normal people call it a “junk” policy. The deductibles are high and there’s no provision for catastrophic illness. It’s better than nothing, but just barely. I’m an extended hospital stay away from being wiped out financially. Because this policy does not meet the minimum requirements mandated by the ACA, it’s being cancelled.

My Bride works part-time. Consequently, we are not eligible for a subsidy or tax abatement. We fall just above the demarcation line. According to the ACA actuary tables, we’re rich and don’t need any help. The least expensive policy available to us under the Affordable Care Act is going to cost $1,025/month with a $4,700 deductible.

HOW IS THAT AFFORDABLE?

WE DON’T HAVE $1,025/month to spend on HEALTHCARE. Do you?

It is entirely possible that I could send $17,000 to AmeriHealth of New Jersey annually and here’s what my family and I will get in return for all that money:

DICKED.

To review: AmeriHealth of New Jersey could potentially get as much as $17,000 annually.

We get: DICKED. How did the medical and insurance industries become so powerful and corrupt?

Thanks a lot, El Presidente. Don’t do my family and I anymore favors, okay? And I voted for that guy! TWICE!

I don’t align myself with any one political party. I think to do so is lazy. When you do that, you surrender your objectivity. I prefer to think for myself, thank you very much. I’ve voted for Republicans in the past (although, it’s been a while) and would gladly do so again in the future if they present a viable candidate. I have liberal leanings, especially on social issues, but I’m not an ideologue. Far from it.

It actually causes me great physical pain to type this sentence, but those howling lunatics over at Fox News, none of whom I have a crumb of respect for, might actually have a valid point. The Affordable Care Act is being financed on the backs of the middle class. Maybe I should have voted for that wealthy robot. What was that dude’s name, again? I’ll bet he’s got pretty good healthcare.

~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I tried to warn you. You made it this far so I’ll reward you with two amusing pics.

We have a corporate dining room on the 12th floor. They post a new menu every Monday morning. Each week, they create festive dishes and cuisines that celebrate the seasons and holidays. Here’s what’s coming up this week:

Black History Month poster

Now, how tone deaf is that? Someone is going to have to pay a visit to Human Resources and sit through one of those corporate sensitivity videos.

~~~~~~~~~~

I rolled over in bed and before clicking out the light, I impulsively took a shot of my nightstand.

photo 1

Two half-finished books, one I haven’t started  and two that are read but haven’t migrated their way back to the bookshelves yet. One bottle of eye drops, because my eyes always hurt. The beast that roars at 5:00 a.m. every Monday through Friday. There. You’ve been to bed with me.

What does yours look like?

83 thoughts on “DO NOT READ THIS POST

  1. Vent away friend, it’s not like we’re paying attention! :-P. At least in Ireland there is a ceiling on the max amount one pays for hospital Care, I think. I hope I never find out.

    You’re in bed by 10:25??? :-#

    I still have a big reading pile, currently on an English translation of ‘The Hundred Year Old Man’ by Jonas Jonasson, a change for me.

    Stay healthy.

    • Dude, I’m usually in bed BEFORE 10:30. If I get to bed at 10:00 I get seven hours of sleep. My alarm goes off at 5:00. That’s my lifestyle, I’m afraid.

      I’m betting that the insurance policies are better pretty much everywhere.

  2. I understand if you don’t want to answer, but was quote that through the ACA website or a marketplace/other insurance company?

    Nightstand is phone, charger, water, chapstick.

      • Ha, if only!

        I suggest checking out the marketplace or whoever you may have other policies with (auto, renter, etc) to see if you can get a compliant plan at a lower rate. IDK because of where you are located, but my friends who picked up insurance were quoted higher through the site than by insurance companies who are fighting each other for business. Fingers crossed something works out soon.

      • That’s an excellent idea that never dawned on me. Thanks, very much, for the tip.

        I just had one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments. Where you slap your forehead? Do you know what I mean?

  3. I hope you find a solution – I really do. I still believe that the ACA was long overdue as are other vital health care reforms. There are many aspects in the ACA that are so beneficial. But, obviously, the Act needs fixing – not repeal. For one thing, it doesn’t yet address the gouging done by specialist physicians in this country who are ripping off the system and colluding with other specialists to drive up health care costs. My brother needs rotator cuff surgery – he was quoted $17,500 here in the U.S. He can get it done in Guatemala for 2,000. He already had his colonoscopy and carpal tunnel surgery done in Malaysia for a couple of hundred dollars. It was done by skilled physicians trained in the U.S. My brother is a physician. Our health care system is sick. The ACA is a start. What did the Republicans offer to make healthcare more affordable to the middle class? Nothing.

    • Thanks, and welcome! I agree 100% that the healthcare industry was busted and needed to be fixed. I’m not sure what the proper solution is but what they’ve come up with is causing me no small amount of angst. I, too, am sick of hearing the GOP beat on the ACA without offering anything in it’s place. Vouchers? Can you tell me how much my voucher would be worth and what my policy will cost? No. Nobody could provide that info. The devil is in the details.

      There was an article in the New York Times about people going to Europe, having a great vacation and then having surgery performed, all for less than what they’d pay here. So that’s a viable option.

      • Consider medical tourism. My physician brother is all for it. He refuses to support this corrupt health care system. And he’s had great work done abroad and has been treated very well.

      • Interesting read about the health care changes. I’m an American who has lived in England for 15 years now. I have to say I’m quite critical of the socialized system over here and was hesitant when I saw it coming closer to the surface back home. My family members are in situations such as yours…I know very few people who have benefited from the Act. As an aside, many people in England are taking medical holidays from the NHS as well.

        Good post…and on my nightstand is my phone (which holds my library of books and magazines), a glass of water, and a generous coating of dust!

      • “I have to say I’m quite critical of the socialized system over here and was hesitant when I saw it coming closer to the surface back home. My family members are in situations such as yours…I know very few people who have benefited from the Act.”

        These two sentences are contradictory, surely?

        You’d be silly to come here (the UK) for medical tourism — unless the similarities in language are very important to you. Go to Latvia or Estonia — cheaper than the UK and at least as well-trained.

    • Not everybody who can’t afford healthcare is a deadbeat. I take exception to that, dear. Let’s not forget our roots, shall we?

      I’ve asked for a raise at work to help cover the costs but as a consultant, it’s not likely one will be granted. My Bride is considering quitting her job so we can make less money and afford insurance. It’s not a great option.

      • God, calling everyone who can afford healthcare in the American system a deadbeat?! Are you kidding?

        In Australia I can study law full time, work casually ~12 hours a week (thanks to a high minimum wage), rent a small house in a trendy neighbourhood near the centre of the city, have my healthcare covered by govt, my income subsidised by low income student welfare payments, $25 dentist visits, and cost of my course is deferred without interest until I’m earning enough to pay it back.

        Because I’m not working all the time, I can study well and volunteer for two career-related not-for-profits.

        I spent one summer semester studying one subject in Hawaii (with none of my own money, using a $6000 government interest-free loan for students who study overseas) and came back with a $2000 debt I wasn’t expecting. God forbid I’d had to go to hospital there as well.

        In Australia I’m going to be a successful professional who pays back her student loans comfortably and gladly pays taxes so others can do the same – and will never be at risk of bankruptcy due to injury or illness.

        And I pay less taxes than Americans do.

        But in the US I’d probably be a deadbeat.

        Educate yourself, MT. Your country has some serious income distribution issues.

      • And Exile, wasn’t the ACA broken down into the useless policy it is due to Republican sabotage? Obama’s not perfect but the Republicans won’t help you either.

      • “And Exile, wasn’t the ACA broken down into the useless policy it is due to Republican sabotage? Obama’s not perfect but the Republicans won’t help you either.”

        The original plan for the ACA offered a single payer option but did nothing to address the obscene cost of healthcare in the US (for instance, $2000 for five minutes with a cardiologist– yes I got the bill), something that still hasn’t been addressed, and until it is we will continue to see this system of strangling anyone who can feasibly be forced to pay exorbitantly. Both the republicans and democrats are corporatists though the press will have you believe there’s a good guy and a bad guy, when in fact it’s all punch and judy politics with distractions of social issues like gay marriage and abortion that conveniently divide and conquer.

      • I considered editing out MT’s comment because it’s abrasive but decided to leave it in and let her take whatever lumps come her way. Good on you for calling bullshit.

        It’s true that the GOP sabotaged the ACA, but a politician who knows how to cajole and smooth-talk and bully would never have allowed that to happen. Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Regan and, especially, Bill Clinton were master manipulators. Johnson rammed the Civil Rights Act down their throats and Clinton was THISCLOSE to being impeached but he beat them all back. I fault Obama for being politically weak. He lacks the backbone and ruthlessness necessary for Washington politics. He’s more of an academic.

    • Well lucky you, supporting all the “deadbeats”. Let’s have a MT Day every year when we all declare our gratitude to you. I’ll remind you of that when you are the one in need. What a heartless, selfish thing to say.

  4. I have absolutely no idea what I’d do in your shoes as far as insurance.
    Because I have a chronic condition, I’m very dependent on doctors and regular medication.

    The “check other sources” suggestion from Sheena is a great idea.

    My nightstand is a mess. I’m not even sure what’s on top of it right now, except that I know it’s a lot.

    • It’s a paradox! I know the answer. These jack-offs I’ve been working for for the past two and a half years need to hire me on staff and fork over some benefits, but the’ll never do it. Using consultants is good for the shareholders and board of directors. They can’t resist.

      Are you guys allowed to use the cafe on the 12th floor? I think it’s just for us guys. Not sure.

      Nightstands are traditional dumping grounds. One more book on mine and the whole thing will topple over.

      • We have a kitchen with a microwave and a coffee machine.
        (I usually bring lunch and eat at my desk – stir fry today!)
        I have a tome on Roosevelt and a massive history of the Mediterannean on my night stand, with a messy pile of magazines. Hoping to clear it off in the near future.
        But I doubt I will.

      • I’ll take you to lunch on the 12th floor one day. It’s pretty great. It’s got sweeping views of 6th Avenue and decent food, including a Kosher station!

        For the nightstand, try using a leaf blower.

      • Then all the crap on the shelves will blow all over the place!

        No, I think I’ll let the whole thing take an organic shape, then sell the whole room as performance art.

  5. I’m pretty sure I have that same alarm clock. But mine roars at 4:00AM sadly. Want to trade?
    And my nightstand has books on it too: Hop on Pop, Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo, Lick, Mr. Brown Can Moo, etc… Good times.

    I’m sorry to hear about your healthcare woes. And, I feel I should warn you if you use Turbotax for your taxes they are going to ask you about your healthcare as part of the filing process. Very annoying. Thankfully, I have somewhat decent healthcare through work, I pay a lot for it still – not 1,000/month, that is ridiculous – so I don’t qualify for any of the ACA offerings through the marketplace. Though, if the cheapest option costs that much…

    The whole thing has been a cluster from the start. I’m not opposed to making sure that everyone is insured – though, if everyone is insured could we then argue that there is no longer any need for insurance? – but the number of stories like yours popping up, plus my monthly premiums doubling year over year, plus all the website problems, plus… There has to have been a better way to execute this.

    • What a fascinating collection of books! My girls are older and off reading on their own and I have to admit, I miss reading to them. It was a great, comforting end-of-day tradition that shall never be repeated. Embrace it while you can.

      I’ve been consulting for the same jerks for going on three years now. My problems would all be solved is they’d just hire me on staff, but companies don’t do that sort of thing anymore. The above prices quoted DO NOT include dental coverage. That’ll be entirely out-of-pocket.

      Interesting verb you chose in that last sentence. “Execute.” It’s loaded with meaning. Thanks for stopping by.

      • I didn’t mean to imply anything with the word “execute,” it is just what I associate with executive decisions, laws taking effect, etc…

        That’s annoying that your company won’t hire you on. Any chance you could threaten to leave if they don’t hire you? Use the ACA as your grounds for permanent status, and say they either need to pay you more to cover the absurd costs or hire you on so you can take part of their health care programs…?

      • That stinks. I’m sorry.
        :-/
        Well… are there other opportunities out there for you? If they don’t want to hire you, maybe a different company would love to have you…?

      • Well, I don’t want to prattle on endlessly about this but the unfortunate fact is that I love working here. I like the type of work I’m doing, the way I’m treated and the people I work with. I don’t mind coming in to work on a Monday morning. That’s a difficult magic to find, so I’m not so inclined to leave.

      • Santeria priests abound in NYC. My husband was brought to them as a child (in lieu of doctors)–he has vivid memories of chickens being slaughtered over his head.

        Would it pay for your wife to stop working? What would be your premium without her income tabulated into the household?

      • We’ve looked into that. My wife quitting work, that is. Not the Santeria priests. We’ve become quite accustom to the additional income and are hard pressed to give it up, but that WOULD put us below the “wealthy” threshold, so it’s something to consider. Curses.

      • This is one of the greatest tragedies of the ACA– it disincentivizes work and, theoretically, upward mobility. It also disincentivizes marriage by way of how household incomes are determined for the purpose of subsidies.

  6. Dear sir, welcome to the club of those getting fucked over by the unaffordable care act. It’s a great thing for the working poor, but not a great thing for the working middle class and upper middle class (which doesn’t even provide that great a standard of living in a HCOL area like metro NY, but you know that)). We too had our policy cancelled, we too are too “rich” for subsidies, so time to shell out the shekels for coverage (and save some shekels for copays). But hey, you can have a sex change operation now. So can I! It’s covered.

    Alarm clocks are so passe. Why don’t you use your phone? Even the cheapest cell has an alarm clock function and a far more pleasing timbre.

    • At long last, I finally found a club that will have me as a member but, ironically, I want nothing to do with it. What’s with the agony?! I feel like I’m being punished for something I did but I can’t connect the sin. What’d I do?

      Guess what else is passe? Books. I know all you smarty-pants hipsters have e-books but I will never, ever, EVER own one. I’m a paper and ink guy and I always will be. I don’t care if my arms hurt when I hold up that Richard Burton diary for more than ten minutes. And who needs to be pleasantly woken up at that hour? What a girly concept.

  7. Ahahahahahaha I did make it to the end of your rant (which I agree with totally, even though it’s not quite as bad as that over here in Englandland), and I thus saw the menu from your canteen, and someone is SO heading for a week in a corporate sensitivity camp. People crack me up. 🙂

    • Hey, your’re a doctor! Tell me what to do! I have so many great options. Should my wife quit her job? Should I insure JUST my kids? JUST my wife and kids? Should I leave a job I love? I can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the end! It’s exciting.

    • I know! Right?! Believer me, my entire life all I’ve wanted to do was move to England. And not just for the superior healthcare. I was born in the wrong precinct.

      Sons and Lovers is the one I haven’t started yet. I’m scared but I made a promise to myself that I’d read it. They don’t call them classics for nothing.

  8. All I can suggest is come to live in the UK but then you might drown.
    Snap! I have Furious Love (Burton and Taylor – latest in destructive couples similar to Zelda and Fitzgerald.) Two mini alarm clocks, a packet of Ibufren (‘flu) and a much kissed photo of MTL
    What are the Burton diaries like? Not just drunken outpourings I hope?

    • I’ve been reading about your water problems. Hard to decide which is worse but I will say that the deluge will end for you soon. Maybe.

      That Burton diary is a fantastic read. I give it my strongest recommendation, although at 700 pages, it’s quite a slog. It’s my bedside reading and I usually get through about a dozen to a dozen pages per night so you can imagine how long its taken me to get through it.

  9. Which just goes to show–socialised health care, paid for by everyone through taxes, is cheaper than privatised health care. Every country that has the former can prove this. I’ve had loads of dental work and other things I won’t go into, and I just chip in, like everyone else, every month from my salary, a sum I hardly notice and then when I need an ambulance, or an operation, or a hospital bed, it’s free.

    Apart from sending you a UK passport I don’t know what to suggest.

  10. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….! I don’t believe that chocolate menu! Good God.
    I can’t say much about your healthcare issues… I reckon that’s what they want to do over here – given half a chance.
    Sx

      • Scarlet is right. The current government is doing everything it can to privatise our National Health Service by stealth. They would never get elected again if they put it on their manifesto, so they are doing it under the radar, by offering supposedly peripheral services out for tender, in a rigged set of competitions the NHS Trusts can’t win. If this shower of shite get re-elected, we’ll have a health service much more like yours in a few years’ time, which would be an absolute disaster.

  11. Books are hot. Pretty much my only internet eye candy is Hot Guys Reading Books: http://everybodyreadingbooks.tumblr.com/tagged/hgrb. You should submit! I keep trying to get a shot of my husband to send in, but he’s a ninja and always knows when I have my camera trained on him, and can’t keep a normal face. Sigh.

    As for the health care debacle… I have no wisdom to contribute. I work at a university where the coverage in grandfathered in (how enragingly paternal that expression is) and so I still have to pay for birth control, which rubs me the wrong way. But your situation is a whole different ball game, and I am so sorry. That’s all I’ve got, but I mean it.

    • I will always be a book guy. Never an e-reader guy. NEVER! I’m old that way and intend to stay that way. I know Kindles and the like are easier to carry, and that should matter to someone who commutes as much as I do. And that thick copy of the Richard Burton diaries on my nightstand makes my muscles ache after :20 minutes. But I don’t care. That’s an aspect of my life that I will never change. You can’t make me!

      Please keep and appreciate your excellent university position (birth control, not withstanding). And don’t be so sensitive about the verbiage. It’s just aesthetics.

  12. Honestly I feel glad to be Canadian at times… not when freezing my nuts off necessarily, but I am comforted that I can always take my frozen nuts to the emerg room and have it taken care of, no questions – or money – asked.

    Ugh. Lawrence. I can’t stand that guy. But I’m glad to see people still read books made of carbon. I read my books on a screen now.

    • First and foremost, you need to dump that screen and get back to the basics. Books are where it’s at, baby. It’s not too late. Use your e-reader as a doorstop. That’s how they deserve to be treated.

      The Lawrence book is the one I haven’t started yet. I’m afraid but I’ve made a commitment to stretch myself a bit and someone assured me that Sons and Lovers is a masterpiece, so there it sits.

      Canada and the UK are looking increasingly good to me.

      • I agree with you on the e-reader. I have a lot of books. Still love the touch and the feel. This is one invention that should never be replaced.

        Let me know what you think of S&L. I read Lady Chatterly’s Lover or whatever… ick.

        Canada looks way better than the UK, but maybe not in the winter.

  13. Calm down everyone apparently I didn’t correctly vent my frustration on the whole healthcare issue (this why I don’t have blog and Mark does). By deadbeats I mean the are the ones that won’t work because they choose not to and get government assistance for free they get to apply and re-apply for endless days/years. Want more have another child…..those poor children are just caught up in the cycle. If you claim mental issues you go on welfare in the blink of an eye. Yes there are people that need it-more that abuse it. I know what it is like to struggle……When I was younger (yes Mark I remember those days); we would come home lights off, phone disconnected because mom couldn’t pay the bills and dad was working “under the table” so there was no way legally to go after him. Not that mom could afford an attorney raising 3 teens and a 9 year old but she never complained just rolled with the punches.

    I have 2 young adult daughters who had to move back home because college is so expensive here they can’t afford to live on their own until they graduate. They will graduate with a load of debt and will be paying it back because that is the way they were raised. You barrow it you pay it back.

    Jessica your giving back…..that is something more people need to do. I have always worked full time to be sure my children will not go through what we did when we were kids, I have collected unemployment for a short time and fortunately was able to find employment quickly. I didn’t mean to offend anyone I just get so frustrated when so much of what I work for goes to taxes to pay for those who don’t try.

    • Yup. Like it or not, as ugly as it sounds, there are people out there who are deadbeats. While it’s incorrect to make a blanket statement and say that everyone who’ll benefit under the Affordable Care Act is a deadbeat, to not say out loud that there ARE deadbeats who’ll take advantage just because it might sound impolite, is naive.

    • If it were as easy to live on what you call “welfare”, as your sterotyyped view of “deadbeats”, implies, everyone would be at it. We have a far more generous system of social security benefits (not welfare) and I can tell you from first-hand experience of it, living on it is fucking difficult. The number of people voluntarily choosing such a life under a far more punitive system, such as the one you have in the US, must be minuscule.

      Interesting about your Mum and Dad but irrelevant detail if your actual points were true.

      This all leaves aside the moral gap in your views–the imperative to look after everyone, “deadbeat” or not.

  14. Oh my gosh, I died over that first photo. That deserves a wider audience right there, Total FAIL.
    And– your rant: that’s so messed up. I wish I understood more about all of the particulars but I seem to hear a lot of people sharing stories similar to yours. How incredibly discouraging. There has to be some other option.

    PS- I totally have eye drops next to my bed. Always. Even when I backpack, I keep them under my pillow. Next to my knife. 😉

    • They are super-Politically Correct at the office. I can’t believe this made it past the censors. I’m sad that when I go to work tomorrow morning a new menu will be up. It made me smile.

      Re: The eye drops. It’s these bloody screens. They’re killing me. I’m one one 9+ hours a day. I wonder what’s going to happen to my kids after a few decades of this? And don’t get me started on earbuds…

  15. Sometimes I am glad I live in Australia, even if I have to share it with megabats and taipans. At least I can drag my ass to a public hospital when I need to.
    There are about five books on my bedside table at any given time. That would be impressive if any of them have actually been read… I go batshit at book sales, but can’t keep up with the influx.
    And that menu? Absolutely killed me.

    • Hi there. Nice to see you. I had to Google taipans and guess what? I think I’ll take my poor healthcare choices. One wrong meeting with a taipan and your healthcare policy will be rendered null and void. Permanently.

      So your books function more as modern sculpture? That’s fantastic!

  16. I’ve lived in both the US and Canada, and whenever I hear stories like this, it breaks my heart. I won’t get into a political diatribe about money spent on the military vs money spent on healthcare or education, but suffice to say you have my sympathies. That and $1.25 will buy you a cup of coffee. Not a good one, darling, but….

    • Hi Helena. Welcome to the House of Pain. Listen…if you ever want to get into a political diatribe, c’mon back. It’s always the right time and place to vent over here. I gratefully accept your sympathies AND $1.25. Much thanks.

  17. How could I NOT read this?
    By the way, the only way around the North American health system – despite our universal health care, Canada is no picnic either, trust me – is to either die or become a vampire.

    • The plea to NOT read this post was merely a ploy! Very manipulative of me but it seems to have worked.

      The way around the healthcare debacle may be death or blood-sucking, but you can also circumnavigate the whole thing if you are wealthy. I’ve done design work for Morgan Stanley’s Private wealth division and if you know was was going on with the super-rich, you’d hurl. Those people all have private doctors and never see the inside of a waiting room. They never have to visit an emergency room. There’s a whole world of care and ease that exists that most people are (blissfully) unaware of.

  18. late to the conversation – and hoping that you have been able to find a better option, and that perhaps your corporate masters have owned some of the responsibility for the circumstances you are in…

    as for the night stand? iPad, BlackBerry (work) and phone all merrily collecting electrons. old fashioned alarm clock, set for 0600 (i go to bed by 11:30pm). books are stashed inside where i can feel less guilty for ignoring them…

    • Back from the tropics, I see. Or are you typing this from under a coconut tree?

      I went to my corporate master with my problem and they still can’t hire me, but they did give me a raise. It doesn’t cover the additional cost, but it’ll help.

  19. Late again! And in a rush again…so will not get into a political argument here;but do hope you can find an affordable policy;shopping around is the thing to do.
    On my bedside shelf?Oh!God! A clock radio which is only for the time (2 cats see to the waking-up thing!), 2 books on book construction, an early Dylan Thomas collection of poems.And that’s as much weight as I can risk there so on the floor I have 2 more books of poetry, Sebastian Faulkes’ “Pistache,”David Bader’s “100 great books in Haiku,” and a sketch book.And my special read-in-bed glasses.

  20. I don’t even know what to say about your ACA predicament. I assume the local help people weren’t much help either.
    As an option (I don’t know your family’s health situation, so it may not be a feasible option), you could skip having insurance completely for the year, and pay the penalty of 1% x your income over 20K. I’m assuming you’re making somewhere in the ballpark of $100K, so your fine would be $800 or so for the year, negotiate with doctors in advance for upfront cash payments for minor visits (I’ve done that for a relative once and paid $125 for a dental surgery), and fly to Malaysia, Thailand, India, Mexico, or other cheaper country as some other commenters suggested.
    Read this link: http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/13/news/economy/obamacare-penalty/
    According to this article, you may even be exempt from the penalty if your insurance would have been more than 8% of your income.

    • You are correct that the local rep was of little help. He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know or reveal any ‘outs’. Ditto the ACA rep I spent about an hour with on the phone. I keep thinking that something miraculous will happen at the last minute, like these idiots I’ve worked for for almost three years will do the right thing and hire me. That’s not much to hang your hat on. THANKS for the article link. Maybe I should go with a catastrophic coverage-only policy and pay out of pocket for everything else? Hell, I don’t know. I’m exhausted from thinking about it.

      • If catastrophic plan is the only one you can afford, you don’t have much of a choice. And you may want to look into HSA’s, Health Savings Accounts – supposedly you can put money in that account tax-free (like in 401k) as long as it’s used for medical expenses.

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