Obamacare: not all plans meet the standards, may be cheaper

Suppose my wife and I are both 40 years old and in good health. We want to buy a catastrophic health insurance plan, and we are willing to pay the penalty for not following the ObamaCare individual mandate. Is there a plan available?

Wants Reasonable Insurance

Dear Wants Reasonable Insurance, 

Whether a “non-qualified” health plan is available to you depends upon what state you live in.  (Non-qualified means that it does not meet health reform standards.)  Some insurers in some states are offering these plans.  To find these options, your best bet is to find a health insurance agent.

You are correct that you would still face the penalty as if you were uninsured, since your plan would not meet the standards. It would be interesting (to health stats geeks like me) to know how many people end up taking the non-qualified plan route, but I doubt we will ever get solid numbers on this.  These people may be counted as uninsured, based on the assumption that if they are paying the penalty, they are not buying any insurance.

Your choice highlights the real reasons for buying health insurance – to protect your house, savings, and other assets from being sold to pay your medical bills.  The penalty is far less than the cost of health insurance, so by itself; it’s not a big reason to buy the insurance.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.