Following Obamacare - My9 New Jersey

Following Obamacare

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Affordable healthcare marketplaces opened yesterday and the websites were flooded with people looking for healthcare. After 2-hours most of the websites were shut down because they couldn’t handle the volume of inquiries coming in. Talk of Obamacare has left many people confused and the questions that seem to arise most often are:

  • How much will it cost?
  • Do I qualify for a subsidy?
  • How and where do I get these new plans?

Vonice Brown who works for Oranges ACA Navigator Project explained what they are doing to help people sort through the confusion, but she said that surprisingly people do have an understanding of what Obamacare is, what they want out of it.

Ari Spool, who is currently looking for affordable healthcare says that she was having difficulty navigating the sites and feels overwhelmed. “I sat there refreshing over and over and over again trying to get into the system and begin to register and I think it was overloaded by so much traffic that it wouldn’t let me in to register.”

Spool said, that she logged on first thing in the morning and then later in the day a note appeared that the site had been overwhelmed by over 2 million visits in New York, which is a million more people than the state estimated needed healthcare. By the end of the day, New York City had over 7.5 million people trying to access these sites to sign up for Obamacare or get more information.

It is clear, however, that small businesses are still confused about the future of healthcare for their employees. The National Federation for Independent Business said that New Jersey small businesses will be hurt if Obamacare is fully implemented, and it has already started. They have been opposed to the original mandate since the beginning.

Jack Mozloom with the National Federation for Independent Business explained why this is hurting small businesses. “Small business owners used to rely heavily on basic catastrophic insurance coverage, that was made illegal, now everybody has to buy Cadillac coverage and that’s much more expensive, more than 30 of the states so far rates for insurance have skyrocketed and its bad news for employers.” He said.

Mozloom also takes a deeper look into how the laws have changed. “The law says that if you have 50 employees you have to give everybody insurance. If you have 49 employees and you’re not giving them insurance now because you can’t afford it, what is your incentive now to hire the 50th person?...The business owner has to make a choice, either I survive or I have to get rid of them.”

Mozloom believes that there needs to be competition in the insurance marketplace in order to really make healthcare affordable.

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