The Utah State Capitol building. Sept 2013.
I don't often talk politics here on my blog even though I am a bit of a junkie for political and polarizing issues. But on the heels of the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday night, there is something I feel compelled to write about as it is directly affecting my family.
And that is Obamacare.
In our working lives, Lee and I have always worked for large companies that provided healthcare to their employees at a relatively small cost. But now that neither of us are working, we don't have the luxury of our employers paying the majority of our health insurance premium. When Lee left his job back in September, we were offered to stay on the company's insurance but we'd then be responsible to pay the entirety of the premium (known as COBRA continuation coverage).
And we found out that we could stay on that insurance plan for the bargain price of $1900.
That is an outrageous amount of money to pay each month for health insurance and would eat up what we have set aside specifically to pay for it in no time. To be fair, it was slightly less expensive before the new year but as of January 1st, we'd have to pony up some ridiculous coin to stay insured on that plan.
So we did some research! Talked to friends and family who are also self-employed and are benefitting from the implementation of the Afordable Care Act. And then we found an insurance plan for our family of three through the healthcare exchange website that will save us over $1200 a month.
Thank you, Mr. President.
I'd like to dispel a few myths that I've heard those talking heads on you-know-who News say and that I've found to be completely untrue. If you are a naysayer of Obamacare, you've probably heard that people have had their health insurance policies canceled due to the implementation of the Afordable Care Act. And you're right! This actually happened to my parents who are small business owners and don't have corporate insurance! But when their old policy was canceled, they were offered an almost identical insurance policy through the same insurance company that met the more strict healthcare law standards and included their same doctors but that could NOT deny coverage for their pre-exisiting conditions or put a lifetime limit on what it will pay.... all for $400 less a month than they were previously paying.
I imagine my parents would like to thank you, too, Mr. President.
Of course this new healthcare system has it's flaws and no system will ever be perfect, but from what I've seen so far, it is certainly working for my little family.
And a look back at what my Canadian-born husband wrote about how he sees the Canadian healthcare and political system now that he has become an American and has experienced our system for himself.
What are your thoughts on the Afordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare? As an E.R. nurse who has experienced the flaws of our healthcare system firsthand, I'm hopeful that requiring people to carry health insurance will make them more accountable for their overall health, which in turn, will lower all of our healthcare costs. But maybe that's just wishful thinking.
We spent almost the entirety of my Health Services, Organizations, and Policies class last year discussing healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act and comparisons with systems around the globe. It's really shocking to me how little accountability most people [from my biased perspective] seem to want to have for their own health and healthcare costs. Over the past few years studying public health, it does get harder and harder for me to focus on individual choices and their impacts on health outcomes vs. ecological and policy issues, but man -- when I hear stories from women who "just want a peak at their baby" so they go to the ER complaining of tell-tale signs of fetal distress just so they can get the chance to see their baby before their next appointments it drives me up the freaking wall. And that's just one tiny example of a blatant abuse of our healthcare system, I'm sure you've experienced hundreds in your time in the ER.ReplyDelete
I love hearing stories about how the ACA has positively affected people and have high hopes/crossed fingers that Governor Herbert will proceed with a full expansion of Medicaid [though it blows my mind that he still hasn't stated how he plans to expand the program, but at least it's a step above where he was a month ago.]
We'll this is maybe the first success story I've heard first hand, and delighted to hear it! My cousin is on Cobra and she said that if she had opted out before the ACA they could have saved a bundle, but now that it's been implemented the plans aren't good. As you know, we've basically had a version of it here in MA for some time. I'm stunned by the itemized bills I get whenever we have any medical procedure in this family, but health insurance has done us well and we haven't had pay too much. My fingers are crossed.ReplyDelete