Obamacare exchanges open, drivers sound off

| September 27, 2013

medicalThe health insurance shakeup that the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare” represents) gets under way in earnest on Tuesday, October 1. Drivers and owner-operators nationwide will be able to explore options for coverage in the online marketplaces in their various home base states via the central healthcare.gov hub on that day. 

For company drivers already happy with their employer’s insurance and any operator eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or VA benefits, nothing will change, but those purchasing insurance on the individual market or via business associations or other groups may find new options on the exchanges. 

Uncertainty on moves in health insurance come 2014 was the biggest trend in Overdrive's summer 2013 polling of owner-operators and drivers.

Uncertainty on moves in health insurance come 2014 was the biggest trend in Overdrive’s summer 2013 polling of owner-operators and drivers.

For the largest segment of owner-operator and driver respondents to Overdrive‘s September polling, the 40 percent of respondents unsure at this point of just what move to make, details on premium rates in the exchanges have through September continued to get clearer, as the Kaiser Family Foundation published its thorough analysis of premiums in 17 state-run exchanges that had released their rate info early. Though they vary according to the state, in one example from Colorado, a Denver family with two 40-year-old adults, two dependents and $60,000 worth in annual income could expect a monthly premium for a middle-grade, “silver” insurance plan in the Colorado exchange of $748 with a $339 tax credit directly reducing the premium to $409. 

Drivers respond to Obamacare implementationYou can read the Kaiser analysis, with numerous examples from various states around the nation, in full via this link. 

Federally-run insurance exchange premium data was released earlier this week; find data in our reporting via this link.  

Less costly — and less robust — coverage would also be available on the exchanges, including bronze-level packages as well as catastrophic coverage, though the latter only available to individuals under 30 years old or whose health premiums would make up more than 8 percent of total income. Catastrophic coverage, coupled with a Health Savings Account, has long been a favored option for coverage on the individual market for owner-operators, given the ability to keep monthly premiums low and save tax-deferred for medical expenses — 14 percent of Overdrive poll respondents indicated they planned to continue purchasing their current off-exchange insurance in 2014.

Reading the comments under any question relative to the Affordable Care Act on either OverdriveOnline.com, our Facebook page or elsewhere around the web, it’s clear that the voices against anything having to do with so-called “Obamacare” are loud and plentiful. Nearly 1 in 5 respondents to the poll we ran on various health-insurance scenarios expressed the point of view of many of those in opposition, that they’d rather pay the penalty for not having insurance than participate in a system they oppose for a variety of reasons. 

In the first year (2014) of the penalty’s assessment for individuals (associated with the ACA’s mandate for individuals to carry some kind of health-insurance coverage), the decision to pay the penalty rather than carry an approved plan may also represent a sound business decision for those who are healthy — and lucky enough not to be involved in and on the hook for injuries sustained in an accident. The first-year penalty for a family of four could be as little as $285, as high as $682, depending on household taxable income. The penalties are set to grow to more than $2K in the third year of the mandate, numbers outlined in the table below, which ATBS included in its August round-up of decision-making tools relative to the Affordable Care Act. Click through the image for more on their report. 

This table reflects penalty assessment for a family of four.

This table reflects penalty assessment for a family of four.

Some of those choosing to pay the penalty hold out hope for the program’s repeal — or success of Republican efforts to defund it. “I don’t plan on ever getting insurance,” wrote Gary D., commenting on OverdriveOnline.com. “I’ll pay the penalty. It will be cheaper. And if nobody signs up for it I think that is the only way they will get the point that we don’t want them controlling every aspect of our lives.”

Among those still unsure about what 2014 would hold for them in terms of health insurance choices, reader Alphea McCulloch held a sort of fingers-crossed hope for better insurance at good rates: “In 2009 I lost my job and lost my health coverage — in 2010 I became pregnant, my first child, so far anyway. I had no insurance, and I couldn’t get any because the insurance companies referred to me as having a pre-existing condition,” which will no longer be possible under the ACA. McCulloch couldn’t get on Medicaid to cover her pregnancy because her truck-driving husband made too much money.

The situation got worse: “I was high-risk, and had to have emergency surgery at 20 weeks, which should have been done at 12 weeks. I was also placed on bed rest. You get the picture.”

McCulloch’s surgery “cost about $14,000,” she writes. “I was in the hospital for a week. I had to visit the doctor three times a week after that and more frequently at 32 weeks. My doctor (specialist) advised me of the fee for him just delivering my son, not what the hospital would charge, and I had to have a C-section. I ended up have an emergency C-section as well. After our son was born, my hubby and I got insurance, and we’re paying almost $700 a month for it. But if I get pregnant tomorrow, I’m not covered. Maternity is not part of our private insurance. I asked. I was told to get Maternity I need to work for a company that offers it. Or get the insurance under our business, which was even more. Yes, I am still looking for better coverage.” 

McCulloch ended her thoughts with unsolicited advice for those who would take a cavalier approach to insurance and health-care costs in the face of the worst: “You may not think you need a doctor today or in the future, but take it from me, life is fickle. Things happen.”

  • Guest

    According to a recent Overdrive article..an illegal alien is NOT effected by this LAW. He will drive truck in CALIF with his NEW license as VOTED in TODAY..but he will NOT pay a penny for Obama Care..his family will continue to use the Emergency Room at his favorite hospital for his primary care..and of course never pay the bill. ALL illegal aliens will receive a drivers license effective TODAY in CALIF..that will include Truck Drivers…more of the Nightmare……

  • Jayne Strash

    so, it seem cheaper to pay the penalty each year, cause u can write off soo much, than buy the insurance, so y bother? obommer set this up so employeer’s would not have to pay for the insurance as most employer’s are moving to part time labor, and where employer’s have to pay, it is still cheaper for them to pay the “fine” than the premiums, so they are saving thousands of dollars doing it that way. and if the state u live in does not have an “exchange” the employer is not penalized, the supreme court has already ruled on that

  • Jayne Strash

    also our constitution guaranteed us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it didn’t say anything about medical coverage

  • JeanGooch

    In Kentucky this past month people from the Affortable Care System was set up showing people what the benefits would be and how much the plans would cost.

    A truck driver in an interview after leaving the insurance tent that the Affortable Care Act insurance plan sure was a lot better than that Obama Care. Lol

    He had no idea it was Obama Care because we all have been so brainwashed by insurance companies who have so much to lose because of Obama Care and of course all the people who just hate the President.

    This healthcare act will be a savior for many truck drivers in our country as well as their famlies. I’m guessing from the numbers I have seen than 70% of all the OTR drivers in our country will pay little or nothing for this coverage.

    Rickey Gooch
    Justice for Truckers

  • localnet

    They will pay little to nothing for coverage? Well, who the hell is footing the bill then? And if most of the country is paying little to nothing for coverage, how and what are the doctors going to be paid? Or, are we just going to conscript the doctors and force them to work for room and board?

    It’s funny, guys like you preach the virtue stuff, but never mention the real human equation in healthcare, the doctors and the rest of the bunch that support them. Doctors are already dropping medicaid, and some are going all cash. See, these doctors are already gone, and more are making similar moves or leaving medicine all together, like my doctor recently did. I now have a PA, he is a nice guy, but he is not a “doctor”. The doctor shortage has already begun, but no one is speaking of that, other than California, which is ironic in itself.

  • localnet

    The problem with Obamacare is that no one has a clue to the actual cost to the individual. No pricing is to be released until October 2013, and that will likely be delayed as the regulatory costs associated with Obamacare spiral out of control. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the insurance companies and go to a single payer system where the government will control your fate. Many of you think that will be great… You are fools, I have seen the Canadian system first hand, it is on par with your local Indian reservation clinic. Good luck with that.

  • joseph bielucki

    Funny, not haha, but ironic, that the unions are all trying to get an exemption from this pathetic bill. Trumka and the unions endorsed this dictator, now they get to worm their way out as well as congress, are you awake yet? voter turnout is less than fifty percent in our elections, get informed, and get out and vote.

  • USMC 69-75

    I am so fed up with big brother in my life!
    I know I have to pay a premium for any of my insurances, life, health, vehicle, home, etc.etc…..we don’t need big brother sticking their noses in and regulating that as well. To much regulation and not enough common sense! Although the bright side……they are creating more jobs, just heard the government just hired 350,000 more employees. Whooooopppppeeeeee! Not helping the private sector, Oh! and they are more than likely except from this prosperous plan as well! GOD help us

  • USMC 69-75

    Maybe so Mr. Gooch, but when it comes time to see the doctor…..what are you going to do? With 2 to 6 month waiting list, they regulate how or if you are treated? You are no longer an asset, but a liability, so we’ll let you die, or assist you in a “respectable” manner, drug you to death! My sister lives in Canada,, they can keep their socialist medicine,

    No thanks, I prefer seeing my doctor when I want to, this week or next, and not relying on big A _ _ brother, pulling my doctors strings, so they can stay in practice…..Not to mention, asking me if I own any fire arms? What does that have to do with my heath…..I plead the 5th, non of your business!!!!

  • g

    Not surprizing that we will look like Indians on the REZ soon enuff….they are stripping and dumbing down Americans as fast as possible…the new Peasant Class is growing fast…we are to mingle in with illiterate foreigner refugees and beg the rich man for crums….and be orderedaround by well paid cops…these CSA cops earn a LOT more than any trucker and have the finest Benefits…retirement, Union pension, Medical…to keep the Trucker obeying rules that keep him in poverty.

  • Guest

    Sure brand new license for illegal alien truckers in Calif…an illegal alien can now feel free to take our freight and drive all over America with his new license…he is also EXEMPT from Obamacare…he gets a better deal with his family at our hospitals anyway….all free…….American Workers cant compete with free.

  • Cory Davidson

    Having medical insurance is against my religion.

  • andrea hart

    How does it feel to be held hostage by your own government? I will not ever support Obamacare and I will pay the mafia fee to keep my store open so to say! This is purely wrong! It was forced on us just like a mafia movie!

  • andrea hart

    What doctors? You will be lucky to find one!
    There are so many things that are bad in Obamacare that people can’t see that it’s not funny! We are in serious trouble here folks!

  • andrea hart

    If Obamacare is soooooo good, folks, then why isn’t congress and the president signing up for it, huhhhhh?????

  • andrea hart

    Yep! We’ve heard it straight from the illegal alien’s horses mouth, just what you said! We, the American workers, are bearing the burden of everything! Who are the slaves now????

  • Jayne Strash

    Andrea I AM NOT FOR OBAMACARE!!!!! I think its illegal as hell… this is socialism at its finest

  • andrea hart

    I’m on your side darlin’! Guess it didn’t sound like it! Obamacare makes me crazy! Sorry for the misunderstanding! : )

  • Guest

    There will be no Shortage of Doctors..the smart ones Leaving?? They will be replaced with illegal aliens..what else??? Our treatment willbe similar to an Indian Reservation..so it will all workout….Jose says we have to saw off those extra parts…let him have at it!!

  • guest

    OVERDRIVE posted the Exemptions to this “Law”…an illegal alien does NOT have to comply!!! He is free to DRIVE his TRUCK and take OUR loads with No Concern for this Law. As usual only the American Trucker will have to OBEY and COMPLY…the illegal alien is waved thru every weigh station and never questioned about his Nationality. This is ONE reason AMERICAN drivers are going BROKE…old Jose and his Family(in the sleeper) pull into the shipper and UNDERCUT the AMERICAN who is busy Complying with so many laws and RULES that he PAYS a FORTUNE to stay on TOP of…..and the illegal alien drives a PAID FOR ancient Beater..with bald tires and taped on headlights….and seems to have NO CONCERNS..always Laughing and JOKING!!!

  • Mike

    I don’t think it’s “Jose and his family” undercutting the “American drivers” as you put it. I think it’s the loser living in a trailer in one of the Southern states who can’t afford to pay his bills because he’s busy buying beer and watching NASCAR instead of educating himself on who has his best interests at heart. News flash – its not the idiot Republicans you’re voting for. And I’ll tell you what, I’ve talked to many a ‘Murican who is hauling cheap ass freight because they’re too stupid to know any better. You’re probably one of them. You sound like an ignorant asshole.

  • kw6238b

    I was curious as to how many readers would just skip the article and go straight to the comments section to vent their preconceptions and hatred… quite a few.

    As anyone who has paid just a little attention knows, (and who doesn’t pay attention to right wing hater media) Obamacare won’t change a thing for those who already have insurance, and will make it possible for the rest of us to get insurance more cheaply. Thanks for the informative article.

  • Thomas Duncan

    You have to be living under a rock somewhere,

  • Thomas Duncan

    Wrong,doctors taking cash will be penalized by this trainwreck and locked up,they are laying off staff as we speak.the american people are dumbed down so far they accept anything.

  • Ken

    Finally someone with a brain. I’m an owner operator too and with lots of health problems and I need health insurance but never could afford it,maybe now I can. Let me ask all you truck drivers out there who hate Obama and think he put this health law in affect just to screw you. You ever hear of Google ? Go do your research on the Affordable Healthcare act yourself. I did and guess what,it’s going to help lots of people. Let me ask those who say they are not getting healthcare,they will just pay the tax. What happens to you if lets say tomorrow you get cancer or you need heart surgery,have you got a half million dollars laying around? If you can’t afford the hospital and the doctor then who you think is going to wind up paying that bill? THE TAX PAYERS that’s who . You and me. Quit listing to your friends,family and Fox news, do your own research ,LEARN THE FACTS.

  • DoRightBilly

    You know it so disheartening reading so many of you input which anyone can easily see what your real reason for blasting the plan. You are feeding off the scare of many others who have other agendas and won’t go and study this plan for your self. I read it and if you would 90% of the fear I am hearing here will go away. It really sad that so many of you will benefit from the ACA and can’t get from under the idea that it Obama Care and we won’t nothing to do with it. Keep this in mind that those individuals pushing this hatred have great health care. Gov’t (which is you and me) make sure that their families are covered and covered well. Do you have an insurance program like those who represent you in Washington? Think about it. Tell Washington that you will be behind them if they can come up with a better plan we all can get behind. Until then, go read and compare with your situation.

  • DoRightBilly

    Andrea, that’s a good question. Let me ask you one. If you work for and employer who has better coverage for you and your family than Obama Care, would you sign up for OC or stay with the employer? Well news flash for you, you provide those in Washington a better plan than OC. Let me repeat this for you, YOU PROVIDED YOUR REPS A BETTER PLAN THAN OBAMA CARE. Get it???

  • LLB Holistic Nutritionist

    One thing has been left out, there are some of us who believe in alternative medicine, natural health , holistic care. We do not see Medical Doctors, but Naturopaths, Accupuncture therapists and others for our health care if and when needed. “Is this not a major infringement on our rights, freedom of choice and our beliefs ?” Being forced to carry insurance, see Doctors ect.

  • Paul O. Haller

    There is NO Abamacare,, thats the scare name the Rep. Party put on Fed Funded Health Care Assistance. Wake up and think for yourself. There always was Fed Funded Health Care Assistance, but now that Abama wants to increase the coverage the Reb. say it’s a bad thing. It cuts out the Ins. broker, the billing co. etc, and you know what we all think of brokers….. haller

  • Gmoney

    Rickey, You have definitely had TOO Much Koolaid!! If this Affordable Healthcare is so great, why did congress exempt themselves?, oh what about Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and the list goes on counting several hundred Unions are exempted from this? Did you remember how they are enforcing it?? That’s right under tax evasion and posting it as a criminal act, that is why the IRS, YOUR Buddies, hired 16,000 more Agents to come after the little guy.

    This Act will benefit who?? The government, because they have more control over you and I.

    How do you trust any Politician that passes a bill that has not been written yet? How do you trust a President that has Diarrhea of the mouth and Lies 99% of the time he opens it?? I distinctly remember something being said about transparency. Every Bill before Obama signs it into Law it would be posted on the internet so everyone could read it. Please find this location and post your results.

    Stating that this Bill is a train-wreck is being conservative. I hope that Congress does NOT delay this bill. I want every American to Feel the pain of their stupidity before the next major election so they can hopefully vote next time with some sort of common sense and not some racial empathy.

    FYI, I live in Las Vegas and my healthcare has spiked, my coverage for my family will cost me more than $14,000 next year. That is with a $35 co pay, not even the better coverage, the better coverage was $23,000 a year, so I don’t know what your smoking?? Just make sure its legal!

    Get informed!! Educate yourself and quit listening to the mainstream media.

  • flames

    BULLshit …localnet you are talking, the canadian system is one of the best in the world, a few province is healthcare free, like Alberta we dont pay for Premium coverage, through eg:(alberta health care system) you pay a monthly premium single,or family, and no treatment is DENIED, for me a trucker o/o, i pay a one time fee of $340 sign to a insurance company of my choice(coverage offered) an say dental work is 100% write for me (tax), plus the underwriter REFUND me my pay-out for work done 100%, so i win, understand your system which will be implemented an good for your country…..DONT LET ILLITERACY, COUNTERRACT INTELLIGENCY

  • localnet

    Well, having worked in surgery at the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit MI, right across the river from Windsor ON Canada… I can say your so full of it it is coming out of your ears. There are lines of Canadians waiting for care in the US as they have been left to die or suffer in your wonderful bestest medical system in the world.

    I have also seen first hand the butchery that comes out of your hospitals, my God if people only knew!

  • localnet

    Tell that to the doctors that are leaving the epically field in droves due to the nightmare of state and federal regulations that make them nothing more than government paper hangers! Sure, you will get your $5000 deductible Bronze plan, now go try and find a doctor… Oh, and have your Visa ready, because American Express is not an Obama approved credit card.

  • localnet

    My niece has seen her insurance go from $189 a month to $800, which is more than her house payment. My wife has insurance through her employer, she was just told it will be going up 130+% next month. And, my long time primary care doctor quit, leaving me with a PA and a nurse. Your full of sh!t.

  • kw6238b

    The niece part is nonsense. There are some employee contributions going up. Some of it has to do with Obamacare, some doesn’t. Health care costs have not stopped rising yet but they will slow down when all this gets implemented.

    Obamacare is not entirely without cost. Some of us are being asked to help out our fellow man a little. Some people don’t want to do that, some do. That’s the world we live in.

    And it’s “you’re” not “your”.

  • m person

    thank you for being intelligent and doing your own research. I wish there were more people like you. The Fox news crowd will lead this country over a cliff and sadly there viewers will follow

  • m person

    who told you there would be a 2-6 month waiting list? who gave you that mis information?

  • m person

    You get sick and go to the emergency room and pass your health care expense on to those insured

  • m person
  • m person

    people need to research for themselves and stop letting people with an agenda lie to them.

  • Bruce at 1600 Watch

    Obamacare originated in the Senate. The Supreme Court found Obamacare to be a tax, which is revenue. Under our Constitution, revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Obamacare is therefore illegal under our Constitution as it originated in the Senate. Additionally, Obamacare was passed under the Senate Reconciliation process, which cannot be used to pass legislation having budgetary impacts. Obamacare is not budget neutral and therefore could not be passed under Reconciliation Rules.

    Obamacare means much higher cost; less doc’s and nurses – therefore less access to actual care; enormous personal data collection (spying by government) to more easily control us; and of course, rationing, which is its only cost control measure. Obamacare is a disaster signed into law by a Marxist Muslim who hates the American middle class and everything it has ever stood for…and we elected this traitor twice. What were we thinking?

    If we investigate THE COMPLETE LIVES SYSTEM, which defines rationing under Obamacare, we’ll find that rationing kicks in at about age 55; by 65 we will maybe qualify for a generic aspirin – that’s about it. Is this what we worked our butts off for all our lives? This is a disaster and it should be stopped.

  • USMC 69-75

    Just check out socialist medicine in the countries it is in!
    The Government is going to decide who gets help, and who gets the pill. Don’t buy it…….just wait and see.
    No mis- anything, facts are facts. Instead of wasting time arguing with me, do some research for yourself.

  • Daryl Wirth

    Tax payers like me will have to pay for your insurance? were is my hand out

  • Paul Otto Haller

    There is no Ins. called Obamacare, it’s a Rep. spin on anything bad.. Sooo,,, the Two times the Bush family used America to attack Iraq would be called the Bushwars, which by the way the Dynasty made a few billion for themselves….

  • bigkahuna

    spoken like true IGNORANT CONservaTARDs !

    Stick your heads back up Rush Limpbrain;s A$$ and SHUTTHEFUKKUP MORONs!

  • bigkahuna

    1) the law has been declared Constitutional, so your 1st paragraph is moot.

    2) your ‘facts’ in paragraph#2 are completely made up, and you kinda ‘give it away’ when you start using your ‘Marxist/Muslim’ language that you are nothing more than a typical right-wing-ignorant-redneck who would rather spread LIEs rather than do a little fact-checking!

    Grow a brain moron, the rest of us are tired of the SAME OLD SAME OLD LIES coming from you idiots & your leaders at FOX..

  • bigkahuna

    Letting CONservaTARDs run the country is against mine..

  • bigkahuna

    ‘big brother’ is the government, and the government is US, you freakin DUMBASS. The Affordable Care Act was passed because the majority of Americans WANTED IT. Since then, the right-wingnuts with money AND an agenda, have launched a campaign to destroy Obama & anything he’s done, & you LOUDMOUTH ignoramuses continue to spread lies to get others to buy into that BS! You people are nothing but a buncho ignorant hate-mongers who wouldn’t know a good thing if it bit you in the balls!

    The ACA is going to make insurance more affordable, expand coverage to anyone that wants it, & even allow people who previously couldn’t get insurance because of a pre-existing condition to have coverage, just like everybody else!

    you DUMDUMs seem to forget that we were on a collision course throughout the ninety’s-&-2000’s with a health-care system that was pricing itself out of reach for 90% of Americans! and that would have continued to happen unless we did something about it! The ‘FREE MARKET’ and the lack of regulation thereof CAUSED this crisis in the first place. The insurance companies, the hospitals, and the equipment & drug suppliers have been ganging up on the American people for DECADEs ! If you MORONs on the right can’t see that, I can’t help it — you’re nothin but a buncho FREAKIN RETARDs !!!

    Sometimes the government (of THE PEOPLE) just has to step in to set things straight. A ‘Public Option’ would have been better, but the insurance lobby wasn’t about to let that happen, so we got what we got.. ‘Obamacare’..

    It’s not perfect (the hospitals & equipment manufacturers still need to be ‘reigned in’), but It’s better than what we had, & you idiots that call the ACA, the Affordable Care Ace, “Obamacare” are GONNA BE SORRY that you did ! Because it’s gonna be a good thing, & he’s gonna get credit for it ! THANKS TO YOU!


    PS as far as ‘big brother’ SYPYING ON US ? Yeah, that crap needs to stop, but that doesn’t have ANYGODDAMM THING to do with this, and by the way that CRAP was started by your HERO, ‘dip$hit-W-Bush’ & ‘DICK’ Cheney !!! Great job, right-wingnuts! putting that idiot in the White House !


  • USMC 69-75

    When you learn proper English, a little thing called respect of others and in your language, I might consider talking to you, but till then crawl back under your bar, have another beer, and go back to sleep! The majority does not want this by the way, just because you read it in some left wing nut job article……guess that make it gospel?

  • Damon

    Absolutely EXCITED about finely being able to get some coverage…don’t quite understand it all yet, but it has to be better than NOT HAVING any at all!! Hoping it al works out for the BEST for all of those Americans that fall in the same Boat as me…Damon w/ Harris AutoTransport Inc(owner Op)

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