The news is filled with people bemoaning the ACA (aka Obamacare). I am not one of them. My situation has greatly improved. I was a single guy, no kids, early forties, paying $650/month for a HIPAA plan with very high copays and $5,000 deductible. I am now paying $370/month for a platinum plan (10% copay) with $500 deductible. I couldn't be happier.
I have always been a non-smoker, non-drinker, non-drug user, and reasonably healthy. But no insurance company would give me an individual healthcare plan, not since I was 25. I was rejected without explanation by many companies. Presumably they rejected me based on pre-existing conditions, but my pre-existing conditions were trivial, some mild depression and anxiety, but never hospitalized for that or anything else. I finally got insurance through work, and was able to transition to an individual HIPAA plan after becoming a consultant. I could not switch to anything better or cheaper, though, still no company not forced by HIPAA to take me would have me. And I looked into the "high risk" pool coverage (the only other option) that California offered and was shocked to find it was a) expensive, b) had a long waiting list to get in, c) provided really low and weak coverage. So, until the ACA rolled out January 1, 2014 I was stuck.
The news reporting of others' experience with ACA plans has me a little confused. The vast majority of people seem to have had really lousy policies which didn't offer much coverage and they are now complaining that they are forced to buy a more comprehensive policy and thus pay more for it. I have somewhat limited sympathy for those situations, because I think the reality is that those cheap policies often just wind up shifting the cost to everyone when someone who has one of those policies gets seriously ill, finds their policy doesn't provide adequate coverage, and goes bankrupt or otherwise requires the hospitals and debt agencies to eat the loss when they can't pay their bills. The people buying those policies may claim that it's the right plan for them, the right price, and that it's just what they need, but I have to believe on a macro scale that's just not born out, that the rest of society takes a financial hit for their stinginess. If you know that to be false, please correct me. For the remaining minority of people making the news whose prices have gone up significantly without an increase in coverage, and without any offsetting tax reduction, I do feel very badly, and hope cheaper options become available, or other corrective measures are taken.
If nothing else, I am very glad that the health insurance system was finally forced to move away from the cruel and capricious system of excluding people because of pre-existing conditions, it was a savage system that usually unfairly penalized people who had no hand in their conditions, leaving them to fend for themselves or pay dearly for rotten coverage. Whatever people may say about the ACA, at least it did away with that...