I Owe My Soul . . . No More



201310-02 – It has been common to say that, if you are covered by employer-provided healthcare, you are not affected by Obamacare. This is true in a technical sense. Most employers simply keep what they have been offering for years.

A few employers are gaming the system and it makes a lot of news. But these employers never had health insurance because the law required it. They had it because it was a cost effective benefit for their employees. That is not going to change. These folks are making a statement, but most will go back once the spotlight is off.

As for the vast majority, folks with employer-provided coverage will pretty much keep what they have with a few extra benefits required by the new law. Costs could change as a result of changes in the marketplace. Early statistics indicate that costs could very likely go down.

But here’s a benefit that no one is talking about.

Until Obamacare, employer-provided health care coverage was a kind of straightjacket. If you had coverage and anyone in your family had a significant illness, you were stuck with that employer. I knew a woman once who had a diagnosis of a serious disease. From that day forward, the employer started abusing the woman and told her that she would never leave because she could never get another insurance policy to cover her disease.

That is no longer true in two ways.

First, anyone who leaves an employer can now go into the individual insurance market and get an affordable policy. Second, these policies have to be sold without pre-existing condition restrictions.

* * *

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go.
I owe my soul to the company store.

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