Jerry Arkin, the founder of Affordable Health Care Alternatives, an insurance agency based out of Clarksville, Tennessee has been a health and life insurance agent for 16 years. Along with critical illness plans, he sells other products to those businesses who do not offer health insurance.
His sales have doubled from last year. Why? The main reason he says is because of the sticker shock people went through when they saw how much the Obamacare policies were going to cost them. A lot of people have told him that they are self-insuring and not going onto the exchanges and that they aren’t afraid of the penalty because the IRS can’t go after you.
The fact is, while the IRS can deduct the PPACA penalty from an individual’s tax refund, if they aren’t due a refund, the agency doesn’t have the usual levers to force people to pay the penalty. The IRS can’t charge interest on the penalties or file public liens on property.
Most of Jerry’s clients also allow him access to their workers because even though employers might not be able to provide major medical insurance to their employees, they still want them to have access to supplemental plans.
For instance, something that is much more meaningful to an employee than an exchange-based plan is the fact that they can get $50,000 in cash if they have a heart attack or get cancer for just $30 a month with a supplemental plan. They can always enroll in an exchange-based plan next year.
Jerry says that another issue is the out-of-network coverage prohibition with exchange-based plans. Unlike the policy holders with these plans who have limited options and no choice in physician, a supplemental policy holder receives cash so that they have the ability to choose their own doctors.
The worst part of the exchange-based plans is although they have included maternity care as one of their “essential benefits”, cancer and heart attack specialists have been stripped out of the plans because of expense. Through critical illness health plans that pay $50,000 in cash, people would get the specialized care they desperately need.
There are many other plans available, such as a large sum critical illness plan that is attached to a $250,000 life insurance policy. There are also for-profit clinics that provide discounts if people pay in cash.
The bottom line, Jerry explains, is that he is selling policies that create good consumerism. What does he mean by that? “Now that consumers are receiving cash to pay for their medical bills, they are going to be more aware of expenses. They’re not going to allow the hospital to charge them $70 for a bottle of water.”
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