Andy Slavitt, who used to run ACA, recently went on Reddit to answer America’s questions about healthcare in an Ask Me Anything session.
The task seemed insurmountable, but Slavitt and the other co-founders of Get America Covered tried their best to answer all the questions thrown at them and help Americans get covered. Unfortunately, not all the questions and situations had an easy solution. More than anything, the Reddit AMA revealed the weaknesses of the current healthcare system. In his post, Slavitt invited anyone to ask questions about getting coverage and renewing their current insurance.
The questions people have asked Slavitt and his co-founders have revealed the main issues with America’s healthcare system. Based on the questions, most people can’t seem to find the right health insurance for them and are left uninsured. Another big issue with the system seems to be the differences in coverage depending on the state a person resides. Then there is the issue of rising premiums and deductibles.
Many of the questions asked to Slavitt and his team revealed that most people do not qualify for financial assistance in the ACA system, but, likewise, cannot afford other healthcare insurance. Most people who were trying to get coverage seemed to fall into this dilemma.
???? ACA enrollment is now falling far short of last year—solely because Trump cut the enrollment period in half. We've got to make up for it by spreading the word: visit https://t.co/gJEZAxeB9c by 12/15.https://t.co/zTRKPdas6f pic.twitter.com/Gv1UdbdpIf
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) November 29, 2017
“Hi, Andy. How poor do you have to be to qualify for financial assistance under the ACA? How is that determination made, and how does it vary from state to state?” asked Julessinthesky, an unmarried, 24-year-old woman with no kids. The Redditor suggested that she was denied ACA coverage because her income of $15,000 a year was too high to qualify for financial assistance.
“…I have great insurance now, even though I make significantly less then I did before. And I mean significantly. How does it make sense for me to give up my career path to be insured well?…” vented Butt_Hurt_Toast in the AMA thread. This Redditor has Type 1 Diabetes and is grateful to ACA for helping him/her get covered, but is frustrated at the sacrifice he/she had to make to get covered.
Some comments and questions posted about the healthcare system affected each state differently. For instance, Warlizard wrote,”I’m in AZ, and we’re down to a single insurance company. The rest pulled out. Premiums skyrocketed and deductibles went through the roof.”
Butt_Hurt_Toast added to his comment and stated, “I’m also stuck where I am if I want to stay alive. Because now AK has some of the most expensive rates out of any state.”
The other topic most of the Redditors participating in the AMA vented out their feelings about the increase in premiums and deductibles in their insurance plans.
“My premiums have tripled. My deductible has quadrupled. The only reason it’s remained as ‘cheap’ as it is now is that every year I have to reduce coverage to lower the price increase,” wrote jeffco555.
“I make just above minimum wage in Indiana. I got a letter from my employer saying that our premiums have increased 46 percent. For my family, certain plans would have my contribution at $1,940.84. How is this possible?” stated gripnippler000.
— Slate (@Slate) November 30, 2017
As per Bloomberg, President Donald Trump has decided to support the bipartisan Obamacare market stabilization bill to fix the healthcare system. The bill is expected to be signed into law before the House and Senate finish discussing the GOP tax plan, which many assume will put further strain on the US healthcare system.
According to Slavitt’s post, signing up for health insurance can be quite confusing to many Americans, which is why he and some of his friends started an insurance agency named Get America Covered and decided to do a Reddit AMA.
He reminded everyone that the deadline to get coverage at HealthCare.gov will be on December 15. He added that some states like California and New York operate their own exchange for health insurance, and people in those states have more time to sign up for coverage.
Slavitt went on to state that most consumers qualify for financial aid and sign up for plans with zero premiums per month. He further explained that not everyone may be eligible for these budget plans, but there are other options if consumers keep digging.
Slavitt’s AMA is currently ongoing for those who have follow-up questions or want advice on getting coverage. Take note that there were many other issues discussed in the AMA thread that were not reported here. This report only focused on the most frequently asked questions.
Andy Slavitt’s ongoing US Healthcare Reddit AMA could be accessed here.