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Monday, November 14, 2016

Preparing Yourself For The End of ObamaCare (Bracing for the Trumpocalypse Part I)

Well, Donald Trump is our President-elect. He has made a cascade of promises throughout the campaign, and many of them will affect the workplace. First up will be the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. That seems to be Republican priority number one. With control of the House, the Senate, the Presidency and soon the Supreme Court, they will get to do whatever they want for at least two years. So this is happening.

I'm going to write about all the laws/executive orders that will be affected by this so you can start to protect your family and yourself from economic disaster.

If you have a preexisting condition, it was ObamaCare that made it illegal to deny insurance coverage to you. That means when ObamaCare is appealed, you may never get insurance coverage again. If you are one of the 16.64 million Americans who are insured due to ObamaCare, you may lose that coverage. There has been some backpedaling such that maybe the preexisting condition provisions will stay when other provisions are repealed. We have no idea what, if anything, will replace the Affordable Care Act or if any of it will remain, and we have no idea how soon this may happen. I suggest preparing for repeal with zero replacement.

Here are some things you can do to help prepare yourself for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which could happen as early as January or February 2017:

  1. Ask your insurance company what they plan to do. If ObamaCare is appealed, you may be dropped by your insurance plan. The first thing to do is ask what they plan to do. They may not even know what they plan to do yet if ACA is repealed, so stay vigilant. Read all those inserts they send you. Set a Google alert for your insurance company name and "Affordable Care Act."
  2. Start looking for alternative plans. Find an insurance agent you trust who can point you to alternative plans if you lose coverage. Know which plan you will pick before you lose your insurance so you can switch quickly.
  3. Encourage your employer to have an insurance plan. I know this seems like a long shot, but many employers have health insurance to keep good employees, to improve morale and also to improve attendance. Healthy employees show up more. 
  4. Unionize. If your company won't provide insurance voluntarily, you have the right to discuss working conditions with coworkers and try to organize them. That includes the right to unionize. It may be time to unionize your workplace to protect yourselves against the upcoming war on workers.
  5. Look for a job with insurance. Now might be a good time to find alternative employment that does have insurance if your job doesn't cover you.
  6. Put money in your health care savings. Many employers offer a health savings account. If you have a preexisting condition and may not be able to keep insurance, this may be your best option for now. It won't stop the catastrophic loss that will occur if you are hospitalized, but it will help with regular doctor bills.
  7. Switch to your spouse's insurance. If your spouse's employer has insurance coverage, now is the time to switch from your Affordable Care Act insurance.

The Trump win has already affected the way I advise clients. I used to advise people who lose their jobs to look at their Affordable Care Act options along with COBRA, because ACA is almost always cheaper than COBRA, which is crazy expensive. It was nice while it lasted, but now I'm telling people not to sign up for ACA and to elect COBRA if they can because ACA won't be around much longer.

This is literally a matter of life and death for many people. Next time, vote better.


  1. The Republicans do not have 60 votes in the Senate. As such, the Democrats will filibuster any bill that repeals Obamacare. I don't think we have much to worry about.

    1. Except the Republicans will probably exercise the so-called "nuclear option" and eviscerate the filibuster with respect to legislation, much the same way Harry Reid exercised the nuclear option with respect to presidential appointments.


I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.