Home > Obamacare, South Dakota > I can renew my non-compliant health plan through 2016

I can renew my non-compliant health plan through 2016

April 29, 2014

nohcgovToday South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard made an announcement that many of us should be cheering on. This from the press release:

Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that the State will allow insurers to renew existing insurance plans for individuals and small groups, regardless of whether the plans comply with the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The decision will allow insurers to renew existing “non-compliant” insurance plans on or before Oct. 1, 2016, for individuals and for groups with 51 to 100 employees.

This is great news. I am one of the many consumers who is self-employed and purchases health insurance directly for my family. According to the press release this ability to renew non-compliant health plans will impact over 83,000 people in South Dakota; and potentially save them over $70,000 in the next two years.

I’ve heard many supporters of ACA say the plans on the exchange are ‘cheaper’. I would downright refute that claim. Even with the increased costs of my ‘non-compliant’ plan caused directly from ACA, I still am able to get cheaper insurance by keeping my current plan that I like. Here is the math I am using to come to this conclusion:

Current Monthly premium for my non-compliant (yet best suited to me) plan: $592.30

Monthly premium for the cheapest plan closest to my current coverage on the South Dakota Healthcare Exchange: $847.00

Increased premium cost per month: $254.70

Increased premium cost per year: $3056.40

I can’t speak for other people, but I can definitely say my budget is not flexible enough to spend another $3,000 a year for a plan that is less tailored to my families needs. There are plans that are cheaper. But after researching them I found I would lose some specialists doctor options I have with my current plan. The specialist options in my current plan has more flexibility in where I can go; which is very important because I have two family members with serious pre-existing conditions.

That is the other thing that gets tiring to hear about from the pro-ACA crowd. A big part of ACA was getting people with pre-existing conditions to be accepted by insurers. I can attest that plans did exist before that allowed for these family members to be covered (I did have to make sure we never lapsed coverage or risk losing coverage for that condition). A huge law passed by legislators (that didn’t understand what was in the law) was not the best way to tackle insurance companies denying customers because of pre-existing conditions. There were, and still are, other solutions available.

Ironically the plan I have now was considered high-cost (for its coverage) has now become a low-cost plan compared to alternatives provided through the Healthcare Exchanges. The only problem I see in the short-term is that I don’t think Wellmark will keep my non-compliant policy around for more than two years. The healthcare exchanges are money-makers for the big insurance companies. It really doesn’t make financial sense for them to keep an old policy around when they can use the coercive force of the federal law to charge more money for ‘better’ plans. I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it.

PS. I haven’t posted enough songs lately. Here is Remy on the promise that people can keep their plan:

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