CHICAGO - While most Americans have been reminded time and time again of President Obama's promise that with the Democrat-pushed Affordable Care Act, they will be able to keep their health care plan and their doctor.
For many, that's all they understand about Obamacare. But as more and more of the 2409 pages of the plan are explained, facets of the new health care requirements and provisions are raising eyebrows of insurance company representatives as well as their clients.
One nugget was discovered last week by BlueCross BlueShield Illinois' rep Steve Orlando during training on the Affordable Care Act. Orlando found that the less a person makes annually, the higher the percentage of what he pays on his annual health care insurance deductible that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will reimburse.
The ACA plan's Federal Premium Tax Credits are to reduce low-income Americans' premium costs on public insurance exchanges, which are especially beneficial for those earning less than 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The law says if a person earns under 150 percent of FPL, and they elect a Silver Level plan or better, the Federal Government - through Department of Health and Human Servies - will reimburse the client 80 percent of their annual deductible.
That reimbursement amount is reduced to 57 percent for those between 150 and 200 percent of FPL, and goes down to 10 percent for those between 200 to 250 percent of FPL.
For example, Orlando says, one of the BlueCross plans available with Silver Level status is Blue PPO Silver Plan 003 with a $6000 Individual Deductible, followed by 100 percent In Network Coverage. While the client pays his premiums every month and pays doctors directly to reach his $6000 deductible, it will be the Department of HHS that will reimburse him.
As the HHS reimburses, America's taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill for $4800 of that $6000 out-of-pocket maximum, Orlando said.
So while everyone from lower middle class to upper class will be paying much more in premium dollars, higher deductibles and higher out-of-pocket costs, there is a segment of the American population that is making out very well.
"Yes, I am sure we will hear a heartfelt argument saying this is only fair," insurance salesman Steve Orlando said. "But I have to wonder, with the deck seemingly being stacked against people that adhere to the principles that made America great, if that very spirit will weaken.
Why should young Americans strive to do their best and be successful when those that accept mediocrity or failure are rewarded, Orlando said.
"But as the number of producers dwindle, how long will those goodies last? At some point, it's all going to come crashing down."