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OPINION - The bronze plan

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)   If you were listening to today's Jerry Bader Show   the latest Obamacare surprise  was unveiled. An insurance industry executive called in and shared a previously unknown nugget about 'the Bronze plan'. (That's the lowest / cheapest of the four insurance policy categories.)

The Bronze Plan, with the lowest premiums that will be most attractive to young people, the poor, and the working middle class is a 60-40 policy. This insurance pays only 60% of your medical bill. You pay the other 40%. Surprise!

This is a percentage split that's been created only for Obamacare; such terms are non-existent in the insurance market of today.

Consider my personal story. I landed in the emergency room three years ago when a car hit me while I was riding my bicycle. My only visible injuries were some cuts and bruises. But there was a question about whether I'd hit my head or not. I had to go to the ER to see if I had a concussion. I was checked by the attending physician, given a regular concussion protocol. and was sent off for a CAT scan -- which later had to be interpreted by a doctor. The hospital billed my insurance company $6,800. If I was an Obamacare bronze-policy holder I'd be on the hook for $2,720. Needless to say there are many, many young people who don't have that much cash on-hand. So what's the point of having insurance if you still can't cover your share of the bill?

When pitching Obamacare to us, the President told us, "in America, no one should face financial ruin because they get sick." Well, do the math if you have a bronze plan and have to stay in the hospital for three or four days. The average cost per-night of inpatient care is $1,900. Many of us would be facing financial ruin if we weren't discharged by the weekend.

My point in sharing this story is that the specifics of the bronze policy comes as a complete surprise to almost everyone. And we're supposed to start signing up and picking our coverage in five days.

How many more surprises will there be?

Chris Conley