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Is Medical Care Becoming Unaffordable?

Is Medical Care Becoming Unaffordable?

As the second enrollment period for insurance exchanges under the ACA opened in November, many people are feeling the squeeze of the financial burdens being placed on them. While the ACA (Obamacare, as it is commonly known) is pushing to eliminate the uninsured, it is doing so at the financial well-being of many Americans. The middle-class is especially bearing the brunt of this healthcare law. American citizens are now faced with tax penalties if they do not have medical coverage. While these penalties are currently minimal, they will increase over the next several years. Many people are purchasing insurance plans that they are not satisfied with just to avoid these penalties. I have seen many patients in my practice who simply cannot afford the premiums. With the economy in poor shape, many people don’t have extra cash to pay for a new added expense. Many are choosing to go without it and face the penalty. Others have purchased plans but are struggling to meet their monthly expenses. More people may be insured now, but many people are being burdened by this mandate. And it is not just the cost of the premiums that are assailing patients—many of the current plans have large deductibles. One of my patients canceled her appointment because her son got sick, and she could not afford to pay the deductible for herself and her son. I am seeing more and more of these high-deductible plans and patients self-rationing. It isn’t clear to many people until they are hit with a medical bill. And then they are left trying to get out from under this debt....
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