In my personal experience with the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare, it has been anything but. I find it invasive and a real time waster. The people I have spoken with at the “marketplace” can’t think outside their box and can only repeat the same lines over and over. If you have had a better experience, congratulations!
To be honest, I did have a brief affordable time with Obamacare. In December of 2014 I was able to sign up for a BCBS policy that cost me $20.00 a month. Since I don’t really use the medical system much and find being forced to buy medical insurance repugnant, I was quite happy with $20/month. I do go to the dentist and eye doctor, but pay out of pocket. Biological dentists don’t seem to take insurance and eye docs aren’t always included in policies. I see a chiropractor at least once a month so I really don’t need to go see a regular medical doctor much. When I do need them I go. And in emergencies I am grateful they are there. But most day to day things I handle myself. My ideal health insurance plan is a catastrophic policy and a health savings plan. But some bureaucrat somewhere decided I am too old for a catastrophic policy.
At some point I was asked to send in proof of my income, which I did. A couple of months later I was asked to send in proof of income. Obviously the postal service had failed to deliver my proof. Then my daughter had her health crisis and one of the last things I cared about was re-sending my proof of income.
While my daughter was in the hospital I quit my job so that I could take care of her. Lots of doctor appointments take lots of time. A couple of weeks after she was released from the hospital I called BCBS because I had fallen behind on my payments and had gotten a notice from the “marketplace” that I was being dropped. BCBS was fine with me catching up my payments and being re-instated. Not so with the “marketplace.” I explained that my daughter had been very sick and that I had quit work to care for her. That didn’t matter. The new (un)affordable policy was going to cost me $300/month. I asked the “marketplace” talking head if she had missed the part where I said I was unemployed and caring for a sick child. The “marketplace” didn’t care. I explained I would spend my money on food and shelter and not health insurance which I could not afford (and didn’t want). Choosing between food and forced insurance was not a choice. We would eat. I ended up getting an exemption number for the rest of 2015. If you are wondering why I would drop insurance when my daughter was so sick it is because she was on her dad’s policy so she had coverage. I would not endanger her by not having her covered.
December 2015 I was forced to play the compulsory insurance game again. This time my daughter would be on my policy so I had to find something. I was moving to Alabama to help her regain her health and graduate. I was still not formally working. I don’t want to play this game and I don’t want to be told what I can and cannot buy. For the sake of my child I participated. I found a decent policy for both of us for $176/month from United Health Care. I still pay a bunch out of pocket for both of us but at least she had coverage if something bad happened.
In November of 2016 I started getting mail from BCBS Alabama. I had never contacted them so I threw it in the trash. United Health Care was withdrawing from Alabama because they can’t afford to offer policies in Alabama anymore. I was moving to Texas and would not be needing coverage in Alabama. I didn’t care about BCBS Alabama or anything they wanted to sell me.
December 2016 I had moved from Alabama back to Texas and was playing insurance roulette again. This time it’s just for me. My daughter is getting her insurance through work. Since I still wasn’t employed I was expecting something, um, affordable. Well, not really. I know better. The (Un)affordable Health Care Act has not served me well. So this year, remember it’s just me, and I get no subsidies, the most affordable is $550/month. I don’t know why we have to enter income since it really doesn’t seem to affect the “affordability”. I again qualify for an exemption from the marketplace. I was curious to see all the policies I would be permitted to purchase. They started at $550/month and went up to $1500/month. What a racket. It amazes me that this system is in place and that is legal. I don’t know of anyone that it serves.
In spite of my exemption for 2017 I applied and was accepted to a medical share program. It is $200/month. I would still prefer a catastrophic policy with a health savings account but this is the next best choice for me. I like that my money will actually be going to help others in a time of need instead of going to a government bureaucracy and an insurance company. The group that I joined gives me the option of letting them decide who gets my share or directing where the money goes myself. I have chosen to self-direct. I feel more involved. By choosing where my shares go it feels like I am helping someone in a time of need and I know how that feels. I am sure at some point I will change and let the group direct my shares. I don’t dread making my monthly payment anymore, even though it’s still more than I want to pay.
After getting set up with the medical share program I opened an envelope from BCBS Alabama. The “marketplace” strikes again! Since I had not made a choice in Alabama a “choice” had been made for me. The policy selected for me came with a price of $1550/month. Wow, unaffordable yet again. I called BCBS to cancel and had to deal with the “marketplace” again. I let the talking head know I did not appreciate being forced into a policy. I know she didn’t care but I needed to say it.
I am not advocating for government insurance for all. I want true freedom to choose what is the right policy for me. If we can get all the bureaucracy out of the insurance “game” prices for all would drop. As prices drop more companies would offer a bigger variety of policies. And I don’t want to pay for maternity coverage when I’m post-menopausal. I am not having another baby. I want choice and the ability to only buy the coverage that I actually need.
We need to take control back over our health. You don’t need to go to the doctor for every little sniffle. When I was growing up I only went to the doctor when I was really sick and for yearly wellness exams for school. I had a lot of colds growing up. Going for every cold would have been cost prohibitive and it was unnecessary.
There are simple things we can all do to help us stay healthier. The majority of our immune systems is in our gut. Improve your diet to improve your health. I can help you with this. Contact me to get started on your path to a healthier you.