Fergus Cullen saved $1000/mo.What’s there to complain about?
Fergus Cullen is former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008). He is a principal at Fergus Cullen Communications and a freelance writer.
Fergus Cullen wrote an interesting piece for the New Hampshire Union Leader. In his piece he said that last year he spent $26,934.89 on mostly healthcare premiums and normal out of pocket expenses. The year before, it was $22,121.50. That was a large increase that had nothing to do with Obamacare. It is the normal ever rising health insurance increases those that are on the individual market have been seeing for decades.
Fergus Cullen received one of the infamous letters stating that his individual insurance policy was going to be cancelled because it did not conform to the Affordable Care Act mandates. He wrote that he sympathizes with his insurance company, Anthem. “How can you run an insurance business when the government keeps moving the goalposts and changing the rules by fiat,” Fergus Cullen wrote. “First saying you can’t issue certain policies, then saying you can or even must renew them?” One would think his first question would have been why his insurance failed the basic tenets of insurance protection. That is what Obamacare ensures.
He finally decided to go onto the Affordable Care Act exchange (healthcare.gov). To his surprise, it was easy to use. “Whatever problems existed last October, the site is pretty impressive now, intuitive for people who are used to using smartphones and tablets,” Fergus Cullen wrote. “Navigating the site took most of an hour.”
After going through the painless process, Fergus Cullen saved nearly $1000 a month. Moreover, he wrote that he may apply for tax credits which means he will save even more given his family size. He has a wife and three children. I had a very similar experience where Obamacare saved my family money even as we got much better coverage.
When Fergus Cullen needed to do what was best for his family he did. He knew when he needed to lookout for number one, his family. Just think what an extra thousand dollars a month can do for a family. He can populate his kids college savings and much more.
This story illustrates the damage misinformation can cause especially for the masses. But even within his piece he provided misinformation that could deter others from doing what is in their best interest. Fergus Cullen claimed that even though he saved nearly $1000/mo. and potentially more with subsidies that he expected higher out of pocket costs. The Obamacare law is clear on out of pocket maximums and limits.
The most you pay during a policy period (usually one year) before your health insurance or plan starts to pay 100% for covered essential health benefits. This limit must include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or similar charges and any other expenditure required of an individual which is a qualified medical expense for the essential health benefits. This limit does not have to count premiums, balance billing amounts for non-network providers and other out-of-network cost-sharing, or spending for non-essential health benefits.
The maximum out-of-pocket cost limit for any individual Marketplace plan for 2014 can be no more than $6,350 for an individual plan and $12,700 for a family plan.
Fergus Cullen complained about the website knowing too much about him. The same technology used by credit agencies that provide instant credit approval by using techniques to validate a person for security reasons is used. He may do well to realize that most of the breaches of security and public trust occur at the hand of private corporations.
One must commend Fergus Cullen for telling his story. Inasmuch as he felt compelled to find something to complain about to validate his Obamacare hating bona fides, a story written from his experience with Obamacare will ultimately do much good. He could have simply gotten the insurance on the exchange and stayed quiet about it.