As the January 2014 deadline looms for Obamacare to take effect as the law of the land, nearly two-thirds of Americans are still on the fence about buying insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
An InsuranceQuotes.com survey reveals that 64 percent of uninsured Americans are reticent about complying with Obamacare’s mandate to purchase health insurance – in part, according to one insurance industry advocate, because “people are still in the dark about what their options are going to be – and they’re skeptical that the penalty for not buying insurance is going to be enforced, at least in the first couple of years.”
But Obamacare was conceived as a closed system; one which would be buttressed by everyone’s participation. But with more than half of those whom the law was intended to benefit – the sick and uninsured – still wary they’ll see any financial benefit at all, the system is in danger of failure, even before it’s begun.
“[The] system is predicated on the theory that enough healthy people will enroll and buy insurance so that their premiums will offset the costs of benefits for less healthy people in the same plan,” Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, told CNBC. “If only the sick enroll, it could be very precarious for the industry and the cost of insurance.”
Meanwhile, the embattled IRS has released a rulemaking proposal as it prepares to take on an enforcement role in implementing Obamacare. For a family of five, the agency is operating on the assumption that the cheapest insurance they’ll be able to buy will cost them $20,000 a year.
In a convoluted document; one littered with headache-inducing examples designed to illustrate how those opting out of Obamacare must calculate their mandatory “penalty,” the IRS posits that, while the “cheap” coverage will cost $20,000, the penalty for opting out altogether is relatively light. In fact, for a four-member family with a household income of $120,000, it would only come to $2,400 a year.