There are many annoyances in life that you learn to live with: Taxes, the necessary evil; That talentless kid next door who just won’t give up on having career as a professional drummer; Corruption in government; etc. However, there’s one thing that really gets me, over and over, and it’s being nickle-and-dimed.
When the ACA was implemented, it completely screwed anyone who is self-employed, because for no reason at all, it redefined the legal definition of an “employer” to exclude anyone with less than two employees. This meant that, by law, insurance companies had to drop all self-employed from their medical group plans, causing us to need to buy individual plans costing 40-60% more than we had originally been paying. For less coverage. (Side Note: To anyone who’s just started chanting, “Boo Hoo, the rich white guy has to pay a little bit more!” I reply, “Fuck You! The corporations you hate so much had their prices go up 10%, not 50%. Little guys like me are taking the brunt of your incompetent planning, and that money is going nowhere but to the insurance company. It sure as hell ain’t helping the poor, and now, neither can I!”)
This, in and of itself, is an annoyance (just an extra $300+ per month for less coverage), but you learn to live with it. Then, one day, we had a baby. The baby was added to the insurance. As it turns out, however, mommy and daddy’s insurance isn’t good enough for babies under the ACA (despite being in every way comparable to the top ‘metal’ of plans, according to the ACA website) so our family plan has to be *even more* expensive! But hey, it’s only another extra $100 a month over what we would have been paying in the old system (for less coverage – Have I mentioned that we have less benefits, now that care is affordable and we pay more for it?). So, you just swallow it down, and learn to live with it.
But now, we enter the “insult to injury” stage. Yesterday, I got a call from the insurance broker, telling me that the folks who administer the ACA insist that all newborn babies have a dental plan added to their coverage. Stop for a moment, to reflect: Newborn babies need a dental plan. Newborn, won’t-have-even-their-first-temporary-tooth-for-three-to-five-months babies need a dental plan…
I pointed out the absurdity to the broker. She agreed, and told me that the insurance company was aware of it, and had found a loophole in the law that would allow parents to waive the dental option. That sounds great. Let’s do that! Well, hold your horses, Kemo sabe. If you waive the dental option, you have to pay a penalty fee to the government. The clincher? The penalty costs four dollars per month more than the dental coverage!
Have I mentioned that I HATE BEING NICKLE-AND-DIMED?
I swear, every politician who has ever voted for an un-funded mandate should be rounded up and shot. Then, their families should be sent a bill for the cost of the bullets used to shoot them. Then, a month later, their families should get a letter telling them that they have to carry medical coverage for their dead politician for a year, just in case they return from the grave!
A group policy to individual? That really blows.
A friend’s kid’s teeth did emerge with no enamel (side effect of an antibiotic?), which meant they were already rotting as they emerged. So a dental plan for an infant isn’t totally pointless, but it’s pretty close to it.