Springfield, MO

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Self-employed: The group is me

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Karl Plumpe recognizes the need for health care reform, even though he’s healthy.

“When I left City Utilities, I found out firsthand how much it cost,” said Plumpe, who retired as CU’s economic development head in March 2007.

Now working as a self-employed registered investment adviser at Plumpe Investments, he pays for his own insurance, as well as coverage for his wife and 5-year old child.

Plumpe’s not sure the recently passed reform will shave any costs for his family. Even though the coverage has a higher deductible than it did a year ago, his premiums have increased by more than 30 percent. He expects those rates to increase even more as insurers adjust to the new regulations.  

His main concern is health reform’s requirement for people to purchase health insurance – and penalties for those who don’t.

Under the reform bill, individuals who participate in employer-sponsored coverage will satisfy individual mandates, but those who opt out or who work at companies that don’t offer coverage will be subject to individual tax penalties.

Those penalties begin in 2014 at $95 per person or 1 percent of taxable income, whichever is greater, according to an analysis by Lewis & Ellis Inc., a Texas-based actuarial and consulting firm.

More people buying insurance will create more risk for insurers, Plumpe said.

“I’m not in a group. The group is me,” he said. “I understand that if I have a major health event, it’s going to cost me money. I don’t like that I may be paying for others.”[[In-content Ad]]


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