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WaitForIt
09-05-2013, 06:27 PM
I don't understand all the legislation ... I'm just along for the ride. Also not a WGA member (yet?). But is this something the WGA will have to deal with? I suppose most WGA members live in California (edit: or NY?) but what about those who don't? Or is there some loophole that means the WGA peeps are all fine?

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/creative-destruction_751425.html

JoeBanks
09-05-2013, 06:58 PM
I can't speak to the effect on professional organizations like those listed in the article (The Weekly Standard is a right-wing rag that has a vested interest in painting the ACA in the least favorable light, FWIW). However, as to this point:

"But the membership of these organizations should worry. Unless they are older or suffer from some preexisting condition that made coverage hard to obtain, freelance artists, designers, and musicians forced to enter the state-run exchanges are far more likely to see their rates go up—or to face the individual mandate penalties. This will be especially true, as alert observers of Obamacare implementation have noted, for those under the age of 30."

As an aspiring writer in LA who scrapes by with two-part time jobs, having a pre-existing condition, and no insurance through either of them, I can categorically say this is TOTAL BULLSHIT. I've had "bridge coverage" through the ACA's pre-existing condition program since March, which hasn't been super cheap ($275/mo) but at least I've had coverage for the first time in seven years.

And when the full program kicks in in January in California, it will get a whole lot better for me. I could get the cheapest possible coverage for about $115/mo (with tax subsidies, which most artists in jobs that pay less than $44k/year will all qualify for). And for $150/mo I can get even better coverage that won't saddle me with high deductibles and co-pays.

WaitForIt
09-05-2013, 07:23 PM
I've had "bridge coverage" through the ACA's pre-existing condition program since March, which hasn't been super cheap ($275/mo) but at least I've had coverage for the first time in seven years.

And when the full program kicks in in January in California, it will get a whole lot better for me. I could get the cheapest possible coverage for about $115/mo (with tax subsidies, which most artists in jobs that pay less than $44k/year will all qualify for). And for $150/mo I can get even better coverage that won't saddle me with high deductibles and co-pays.

I didn't know this "bridge coverage" even existed. I am out of the loop.

Notably, WGA writers who don't live in CA or NY might very well be in red states that are doing their best to flub the whole thing at their own state level, so being shoved out of coverage for which they previously qualified through the WGA might be catastrophic. I'm hoping this isn't the case.

(I don't think my state is participating at all... somehow... I don't know. I don't have insurance and I'm not counting on anything. [edit--this made me go poke around and apparently people in states like mine will use the federal option... so I guess whether the above possibility is all that bad depends on how the WGA coverage would compare to the exchange coverage available?])

Ronaldinho
09-05-2013, 09:13 PM
I don't understand all the legislation ... I'm just along for the ride. Also not a WGA member (yet?). But is this something the WGA will have to deal with? I suppose most WGA members live in California (edit: or NY?) but what about those who don't? Or is there some loophole that means the WGA peeps are all fine?

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/creative-destruction_751425.html

Even as some stages try to sabotage Obamacare, it's a godsend for people like us.

Look, one thing you deal with a lot in the WGA is falling out of the insurance. The ACA makes it easier - even without the exchanges - for you to get insurance if you don't have it (especially if you have a pre-existing condition) and while rates may go up for some people, they'll go down for others.

If you're going to fall out of the WGA insurance for only a little while, you can COBRA it for a few quarters, but that only lasts a year and tends to be super expensive. The fact that insurance companies can't deny you (and one company refused to insure me because I had a small bump which a doctor looked at and told me was nothing, which subsequently went away) is a HUGE win for freelancers.

The Weekly Standard is Bill Kristol's rag. It doesn't write anything without an agenda.

Craig Mazin
09-06-2013, 03:18 PM
The Writers Guild Industry Health Fund will remain intact. I can't speak to the other examples offered.

kpowers
09-06-2013, 05:21 PM
Availability of coverage through ACA doesn't start until October, so my sense is that the government has been conserving its advertising/education dollars to coincide with the beginning of the sign-up window. (Because if you tell people about something, and then they realize they can't do anything with that info for three months, they might forget between now and then.)

I don't have an agenda here, other than to share the essential facts of the program. (I realize some might find that provocative, but that's honestly not my intention. I just think the more people understand how ACA works, the fewer un-informed conversations there will be.)

In broad strokes:

As of January 1, 2014, if you make less than $14K/yr as an individual or $29K/yr as a family of 4, you are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. Period, end of story, doesn't matter what your state government wants to do.

As of January 1, 2014, if you make more than that -- or even if you make less, but for some crazy reason prefer not to go on Medicaid -- you can sign up for coverage through a Health Insurance Exchange.

If your state isn't setting one up, you will have access to the federal insurance exchange.

Those with low- and middle-incomes will receive a tax credit to defray the cost of the coverage. Those making more than 133% of the poverty level (i.e., $14K/yr as an individual) will not pay more than 4% of their wages. This goes up incrementally to 9.5% for individuals making $45,960/yr. Above that, you pay full freight, but you can choose lower-cost programs with higher deductibles to keep your monthly payment down.

This calculator can help you figure out what coverage under ACA would likely cost you: http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

All data, other than the calculator, courtesy of http://www.hhs.gov/.