Sunday, December 1, 2013

Used to get insurance from God, now she has to get it from Obama

Here's Whitney King-Johnson of Arlington, Texas, a 26-year-old new mother who really liked her insurance and couldn't keep it, as reported in LifeNews:
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the fall of 2010, and diagnosed with severe Osteonecrosis in the spring of 2013. I have been through two relapses that left me in the hospital over three weeks. I have had two surgeries, one plasma exchange, monthly infusions, IVIG treatments, intense steroid treatments, and the list goes on — all to help me maintain quality of life. I easily incur over $350,000 worth of medical bills per year. My insurance coverage has been a blessing from God.
You bet it has! It sure hasn't been a blessing from capitalism. If this story is true, her insurer, which could legally have refused to cover her (until now), has instead [jump]

been charging her $325 a month in the certain knowledge that it will have to be paying out almost 90 times that much. What kind of business practice is that?

Or maybe-just-maybe it wasn't directly from God but through the saintly intervention of a teachers' union. Because it just so happens that $325 per month is the premium for the catastrophic coverage plan offered by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association for the year 2013. King-Johnson must have been working as a teacher, or in some similar capacity for the state; she'd have dropped out to have the baby and kept the coverage on a COBRA basis ($325 is the full premium, including the contributions of the state and district, which would have stopped when she stopped working). That is, it's group insurance, not individual, working the way good insurance has worked in the past and everybody's insurance is supposed to start working now.
Weatherford watermelon, via Rootsweb.
It was an extremely generous plan, too, covering 100% of preventive care and 80% coinsurance/copay, with a deductible of only $2,400 and out-of-pocket maximum of $3,850. The OOP for the next more expensive plan at $529 a month was, by some quirk, slightly higher at $4,000, so in paying the lower premium she was really gaming the system for every penny she could; knowing that with her MS she'd be running through the whole OOP no matter how high it was, she chose the lowest-premium plan meant for the healthiest young customers who don't expect to pay anything at all. And in suggesting that she got it on the individual market she is giving a false impression.

What's really wack, anyhow, is the way she thinks she's somehow entitled to trade her $325 for their $30,000 as if it were a God-given right that Obama is somehow taking away from her. Once she'd given up her job it wasn't going to last in any event, with or without Obamacare. No plan like that could be offered on the individual market, it could only have been in a group plan (whose members she was of course cheating by taking that deal). Without Obamacare, she'd have run out of the COBRA benefits in a matter of months or weeks and become completely uninsurable on the individual market; her options would have been far worse than they are now, especially if she couldn't get back to her old job.

And with Obamacare?
I actually just found out moments ago that in order to be added to my husband’s insurance (which is the route I thought I was going to be able to go) it is going to cost me $900 per month, and the insurance is awful. It doesn’t cover my treatments, and I have to pay $5k out of pocket before any co-insurance even picks up! We simply can not afford $900 per month for my health care alone. I also got word that my friend with type 1 diabetes just got quoted a premium of $600 per month with a $14,000 deductible!!! This is just outrageous. I trust The Lord will provide for me and my family or just heal my body so I no longer need treatments. I ask for you to pray.
Well, I can tell you about the friend with diabetes, because he has a lot of friends and has been emailing them all, so much so that his letter ended up at

In other words, it's a fictional friend with a problem that doesn't in fact exist. Leaving me to wonder whether Whitney's own problem is entirely real. I've had an awfully hard time finding things out about her and her baby daddy, except for the fact that they live in Weatherford, TX and were planning to get married last June (that's a big baby, Whitney), though it's not clear they actually did. But I have a pretty hard time believing she's got that part of the story straight, given that she's got everything else wrong.

I'll just mention that the way she claims the husband's plan works wouldn't be qualified under ACA either—unless maybe the treatments she requires include dressage riding—so he'd likely have to be looking for something new anyway. And that it's weird how she has nothing to say about the baby's coverage, which you'd think would be on her mind in spite of her ailments, and that "$5K out of pocket before any co-insurance" sounds like something that was probably legal in Texas before Obamacare, but isn't any longer.

One thing: if she wants to keep trusting in the Lord she might want to keep that stuff about bearing false witness a little more clearly in mind.

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