OPINION – The other day, a colleague rang me to discuss how Obamacare had affected his healthcare. For the purposes of this commentary, I will call this individual Lee. Apparently, Lee has a chronic condition that requires that he be infused with certain drugs periodically to ensure he survives. Lee's health plan offering was no longer available. The only offering he could find was one that had a "narrow network," which neither included the physician he had seen for years, nor the hospital he had gone to. Oh yes, and he added that all the drugs he needed were not covered. Lee was concerned that the cost of the drugs might be over a hundred thousand dollars a year.
I have no idea what Lee might be paying for health insurance, but let us assume it's $20,000 a year. Lee was concerned about the narrow network and the additional out-of-pocket costs that he would incur. Fortunately, he can afford to pay these out-of-pocket costs. I could not help but think about a person who could not afford the $20,000 for health insurance before Obamacare, but now may have some form of coverage. This individual presumably will receive some subsidies, but if he only has a narrow network offering, he might find himself in a similar situation as Lee, but without the wherewithal to pay the out-of-pocket costs.