Thursday, November 14, 2013

Amazing what people at work will say about the ACA...

    From EastCoastProgressive1963 @ DailyKos

  I work in high tech for a prosperous New England instrumentation company. I am programmer. A late night working, pizza eating, cola swilling, occasional shaver who comes into the office one or twice a week (the rest of the time I'm telecommuting at home to my outsource colleagues in India and China).

I work on the ground floor - the actual and symbolic ground floor suitably removed from the decision makers on the second floor who power dress and fuel the company gossip.

Yesterday I made a rare trip to the second floor to hear a presentation on the new company health benefit for 2014. And I was exposed to the second-floor culture.

More below the orangy-squiggly thingy...

The presenter was a company employee and self confessed "non-expert" on the benefits package, and in her opening slide was entitled "Many Changes are Coming in 2014". As if we didn't know. She then said that health reform was having an impact on our benefits package. This, to the best of my recollection was how the conversation went next:

PA to the company VP: "what you mean Obamacare?"

Presenter: "well that is part of it not the whole story"

PA: "Is Obamacare part of the package 'cos we don't want that. That's a disaster, right".

Presenter: "No, we aren't going to Obamacare"

PA: "Well that's good 'cos it is such a mess and I don't want to be part of it".

I was going to say something, but got an attack of shyness and kept quiet. The presentation went on to make one thing very clear: that the company was passing more of the cost to us this year in the form of higher deductibles (up 50%), and higher premiums (up 6%). No surprises there, except for lower-than-expected premium hike.

Finally it got to the Q&A, and I held up last years plan and this years plan. And then I said:

Me: "Am I right in thinking there are some key differences in plan this year?"

Presenter: "In what way?"

Me: "Well I notice the lifetime caps have gone for one thing. And that I can bring my children on the plan when they are in college. And it's true that we've never had to worry about preconditions in this plan, but even those aren't allowed any more. Also, the max out of pocket has come down, so we aren't exposed to as much risk"

I then turned to the Obamacare-hating PA and said: "and all that is because of the Affordable Care Act. They can't do that to us any more".

The look on her face was priceless...