Arlo Guthrie popped on my radar when I heard the Woodstock album. Being 12 years old I had heard some balladeers before but not “Comin’ into Los Angeles.” Our paths serendipitously crossed again in Walton County Traffic Court.



Guthrie sets “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” around Thanksgiving and “blind American Justice” prevailed in both cases. In his tune Guthrie meanders from Thanksgiving and legal transgressions so when the melody comes around we’ll do the same.



The Walton Sun Facebook page recently asked people to share Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obamacare stories and   to me, Obamacare gets a “C minus.” 



Humana has not dropped our coverage and if they did the Obamacare option would be 15 percent higher. But it ain’t our first rodeo; double digit premium increases are common. And I’m boringly healthy.



On the positive side, Humana rebated us two years running. More importantly in my family, there are three young adults whose medical conditions make individual coverage prohibitive.



Here’s some Walton Sun breaking news. You don’t need healthcare.gov to buy insurance. Go to healthsherpa.com, follow the prompts and call the insurance company directly. Healthcare.gov helps people who qualify for a subsidy.  Google search “Kaiser Health Subsidy.”



Someone should have seen the website glitches, premium increases and cancellations coming. I do not condone nor excuse the lack of foresight. But let’s get real; Americans have some shabby health insurance policies.



Most people who declare bankruptcy due to excessive medical costs had health insurance before getting sick. Despite having health insurance, a client of ours still had a five figure medical bill.



People don’t understand insurance, heck, I’m a poster boy. Back in the ’90s I ignored an agent’s admonition, “A $50,000 paid up policy is always good” and took the cash value.



People pay untold millions for cash-value life insurance or annuities and have no clue what they bought.  “I have a 6 percent guarantee on my annuity.” Sorry pal, maybe not. Hardly anyone understands an insurance declaration page, either.



As far as botched rollouts go, healthcare.gov pales in comparison to the genius move during the Vietnam War to replace functional M-14 rifles with M-16s. My friend Jacks still fumes. The M-16 is a perfectly good weapon but the government low bid the ammunition like they did healthcare.gov.  



People overlook Obamacare/ACA insurance policies are guaranteed issue. Smoking is the only preexisting condition. ACA insurance policies have annual limits on maximum out-of-pocket costs.



In addition to guaranteed issue they guarantee you won’t go bankrupt. The ACA seems to do better in some states.



In red state Kentucky one poll had Sen. Mitch McConnell with higher unfavorable ratings than the ACA.  In Arkansas, the Medicaid expansion has been a stunning success with almost 65,000 low income residents now insured. Obamacare/ACA gives early retirees or those who lose employer sponsored health insurance an affordable option for expensive COBRA coverage.



With the subsidy, we helped a client reduce her insurance costs by over 40 percent. Realtors take note; folks may not have to wait until Medicare kicks in before buying a beach home.



Health insurance exchanges may or may not be our best option but Gov. Romney liked them in Massachusetts and Paul Ryan thinks they can replace Medicare. Enjoy your holiday. 



Buz Livingston, CFP, has a Blue Mountain Beach based fee-only, hourly financial planning and investment management firm. For more information, visit www.livingstonfinancial.net or come by the new office at 2050 Scenic 30A, M1-Unit 230, Redfish Village.