I hear this pretty much every day.   Along with “These plans are horrible – I don’t want a big deductible”, “My Doctor/Hospital doesn’t take any of these plans” and my favorite “the prices are really high, I thought this was supposed to be affordable”.

So why not take a “Regular Plan.” Lacking a time machine, its just not possible. See, ObamaCare is not a type of plan – it’s a law. Specifically, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It governs almost all health plans, setting minimum levels for coverage, underwriting, and pricing guidelines along with a host of other rules.

To make a very long story short – these are the only plans. You can buy on the marketplace/exchange, or off the exchange – but the choice of insurance companies and plans are the same. There is no “Regular Plan” anymore.

What about that sign stapled to the telephone pole on the corner that says “Medical and Dental Plans – Not ObamaCare” (another common question). Those plans do not meet the minimum essential coverage levels under the PPACA. Typically they will pay for a couple of doctors visits, and a few days in the hospital. Almost as important – you are still subject to the fine, 2.5% of your income this coming year – because you don’t have minimum coverage.

So if your household income is, say, $40,000 – you pay the premium, get crappy coverage, and still get fined $1,000 next year for not having adequate coverage.

Or you can hop into my DeLorean, and we can take a ride back in time.