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Shows & Panels
Young, immortal and uninsured!
Friday - 10/25/2013, 2:00am EDT
As many as 250,000 federal and postal workers, many of them either young and healthy or in low-paying jobs, may be forced to buy health insurance next year... or else.
The "or else" is that unless they are covered by one of the federal government's health plans, or by the plan of a spouse, partner or parent, they will have to buy health insurance or could be hit with a fine as required by the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.
Most federal and postal workers and retirees belong to one of the dozens of plans available to them under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. Although the government pays the lion's share of the total premium (about 70 percent on average), a number of eligibles don't belong. Many of them are young, healthy and childless. They are known as "the immortals," because the idea of having a serious illness (or accident) isn't on their radar screen. Either that or they figure they can't afford coverage even though premiums in some plans are as low as $25 per week.
Under the ACA (Obamacare), people who are uninsured will either have to get coverage or pay a small penalty of $95. At least in the first year. An infusion of young, healthy premium-payers would be a boon to any health plan. While the potential group has been estimated as high as 250,000, sources close to the FEHBP say the number could be half that. Still a lot of new, healthy, blood for the FEHBP.
Most federal and postal workers belong to one of the FEHBP plans, which cover nearly 9 million current and former workers, spouses, survivors and in some cases ex-spouses too.
Adding tens of thousands of healthy, young "immortals" to the insured pool would be a benefit to FEHBP plans and help offset higher costs incurred by older workers and retirees. But for the immortals, the choice of either mandatory coverage or paying a penalty to IRS will come as a rude surprise.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
The first novel ever written on a typewriter was "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," of Mark Twain.
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