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by
Rick Moran

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November 10, 2013 - 6:28 am

Suppose you can’t keep paying your Obamacare premiums because they’re just too high. Or, suppose you’re a deadbeat and only bought the insurance to avoid the penalty and don’t feel like paying anymore.

Once your insurance company drops you for not paying, you should be liable for any health care bills you incur while uninsured, right? Not exactly.

Reason reports:

Tucked inside nearly 11,000 pages of the Affordable Care Act is a little-known provision that doles out three months of free health care to individuals who choose to default on their premiums.

People who receive the federal subsidy to be part of Obamacare will be allowed to incur a three-month “grace period” if they can’t pay their premiums and then simply cancel their policies, stiffing the doctors and hospitals.

Their only repercussion is that they have to wait until the following year’s open enrollment if they want coverage on the exchange.

“It will help break the system,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, one of a core group of Republicans who oppose Obamacare. “This is a huge piece of evidence to show this can’t work, you will break the system and bankrupt people involved.

“The hospitals, doctors and insurance companies will be left holding the bag. There will be disagreements over who will pay for what. Lawyers will get involved because we are talking about a lot of money,” he said.

Under Section 156.270 of the Affordable Care Act, the insured needs to pay a premium for just one month before qualifying for the three-month grace period. The insurance company must pay the claims during the first month of the grace period; during the second and third month doctors and hospitals are left to collect unpaid bills.

This loophole wasn’t lost on some unnamed individuals who queried the Department of Health and Human Services during an open comment period for the new law in 2011.

While officials at HHS did not respond to requests for comment on this story, they did offer a glimpse into their thinking in a March 27, 2012, report contained in the Federal Register.

“HHS will continue to explore options for incentivizing appropriate use of the grace period,” the register said. “HHS will monitor this issue moving forward and will continue to work on the development of policies to prevent misuse of the grace period.”

Bottom line: Those who wish to game the system can purchase one month’s of insurance and be covered for 4. And, of course, they avoid the penalty for not purchasing insurance.

The only way you can “incentivize” people not to misuse the grace period is put them in jail if they do:

Experts say the federal government has given people the green light to commit fraud.

“In a sense, it legalizes fraud,” said Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute of Human Exceptionalism and a frequent critic of the Affordable Care Act. “It legalizes putting your burdens on the insurance companies’ shoulders and never paying your premiums. The government wants people to be irresponsible and apparently they want the whole system to descend into chaos.”

This is already a problem in Massachusetts, where the template for Obamacare was born. And, of course, any cost savings realized through Obamacare will be wiped out by the deadbeats as hospitals and doctors will be forced to pick up the tab by charging the rest of us more.

Or, they can just go broke.

The solution for some doctors is to refuse to see anyone who got their insurance through the exchanges:

And any doctor who is paid by the insurance company during the last two months of the grace period will have to return that money, he said.

“Our overhead is about 50 percent; I get $100 and it costs me $50 to stay in business,” Brotherton said. “The most obvious solution is anything through the exchange, we’re not taking it.”

Fewer doctors are going to be seeing Medicaid patients as the number of beneficiaries rise. Now we have the prospect of millions of people receiving their insurance through the exchanges and not being able to find a doctor in their area to treat them.

These little Obamacare nuclear bombs keep going off as we discover just what’s in this monstrosity. You can be sure that deadbeats being deadbeats, they’ve already figured out the angles and will milk the rest of us for all we’re worth if we give them a chance.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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They won't have to learn how to milk it... I am sure part of the agency promoting Obamacare will set up offices/hire people to teach and promote the 3 free months... I would also be shocked if it didn't also go up on billboards south of the border.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, all is explained now. You get your $2500 savings by cancelling every September 30. And the only ones who won't do it are men of honor, which leaves the entire Democrat constituency free to save some money.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your argument starts with the notion that healthy people who choose not to by health insurance are deadbeats, So much for your Conservative credentials.
Under this reasoning anyone who chooses not to pay more, (taxes, etc) is a deadbeat.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't feel bad for the Insurance companies. Also built into the ACA is an "insurance" provision for them where HHS will pay them back for a portion of the loss they take during 2014 based upon the company's estimated cost to cover their insureds. ConservativeIntel.com has an article explaining this safety valve for insurers. Search for: "Obamacare’s taxpayer bailout for health insurers" on that site.

Of course, the bailout money for the insurance companies will come out of our pockets.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a fiasco!
If only someone had the guts to draw a line in the sand and take a stand to kill or defund this monstrosity! Oh, wait...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, deadbeats have been the Democrat constituency for 100 years.

Be they welfare queens, free sex without consequences, corporate cronyists (big corporate types are the instigators of regulations to kill their competitors, their CEOs being overwhelmingly Democrat, as opposed to entrepreneurs who tend to Republicans and Libertarians), what else do they have?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One of the truest of all of the "old sayings" is that "When you reward bad behavior you are bound to get more of it." Con artists will pick up on this almost immediately. Indeed why should you bother paying your "affordable" premiums when you can get three or four months insurance for free and then re-register to start the process all over again? I used to do legal work for landlords trying to evict "deadbeat" tenants who stopped paying their rent after a few months.. The eviction process in our state is complex and allows the tenants so many appeals, dodges and delays that some tenants would live rent-free in their apartments for over six months before having to move out. They then just got another apartment elsewhere where they repeated the process. If the Obama people think that human nature is going to change just because they are so concerned about the "uninsured" they have a big surprise coming.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Except that it's not a con. It's right in the terms of the contract. "Buy nine months, get another three free."

You'd be crazy not to.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
anybody ever heard of 'designed to fail"?

on a similar note, its getting close to year's end and its tough going figuring out who gets the 'dumb arse of the year award'. there are sooo many deserving categories of candidates this year from which to choose. just a few:

we have feminists, race baiters, race hustlers and just plain racists (if anybody knows what that means anymore). we have deniers, criers, and really big liars. there are excuse makers, poll takers and even political fakers. we have suck ups, pin ups, and loads of screw ups. not the least are medical quacks, educational whacks and pol's w/ an abundance of illegal crack (both kinds). the ranks also include slackers, packers, and oblivious illegal money backers.

I guess hitlery was right, looks like you will get the whole village, once you take away their idiot.

maybe the panel of judges can get some ideas from the nobel peace prize committee. they seem to have the subject well researched.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That sounds like the gang Hedley Lamarr rounded up to raid Rock Ridge. :)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I suppose some enterprising insurance companies will provide temporary catastrophic gap policies to cover that year's gap between signups; so you can sign up for a month on an exchange and only pay one months premium and get and extra three months free (supposedly paying a federal penalty if collectable on next years taxes), and then get a cheap private gap policy (that doesn't qualify under the AFCA for minimum coverage for eight months) to cover the other eight months. At the end of the eight months repeat the process and sign up for one month and get three months of free insurance during the open enrollment period on the exchange. At least that way you can avoid bankruptcy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
and who would have thought more unexpected consequences of trying to micro manage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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