I returned to HealthCare.gov the other to day to see how it’s doing.
The good news: For New Jersey, the window shopping part of the site worked pretty well.
The bad news: If my family lost access to my employer-sponsored coverage, and we had to pay for individual coverage completely out of pocket, we’d have to come up with about $800 in extra cash per month just to buy skimpy, narrow-network, bronze-level coverage that would in no way compare with the coverage I have now.
We would probably not qualify for any subsidies. If my husband was still working, we would not qualify for a hardship exemption from the individual mandate based on the finding that the full list price of the coverage exceeded 8 percent of our household income. (And, really: Why would we want to go without major medical coverage, if we had any choice about that whatsoever?) We already live modestly (the Jersey City Goodwill store is my clothier of choice), and we would have to figure out how to live even more modestly.
But, think about this: I’m horrified by the idea of shelling out a little less than 8 percent of my household income for acute health care insurance — and the country as a whole is spending about 17 percent of its income (“gross domestic product” means “national income”) on acute health care costs.
In other words: Every funding source in the game is already spending a theoretical total of about $1,700 to $1,800 per month on my family’s health care, even though the only health care we’re using these days is checkups.