Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA)

I live in Idaho, one of the many states whose governor is refusing to get on-board with the ACA and expand Medicaid so that my boyfriend can actually have health insurance.  I've two experiences with the process - the first trying to enroll my boyfriend and the second for myself.

It did not take very long to verify my boyfriend's application - as I mentioned, he would qualify for the expanded Medicaid if our governor allowed it, and there were several options available to him - if he had the money to purchase the plan.  Because of his (lack of) income and the lack of the Medicaid expansion, he is exempt from having to have a policy effective January 1st, so all is well with him, except he still has no coverage.

As for me, I am extremely fortunate.  Despite my disability, there are many plans now available to me.  I've hung onto my $1000-per-month insurance like a raggedy blanket, clutching it for dear life, afraid that I'd never qualify for anything again because of "preexisting conditions" - however, it appears with that gone, I can purchase a plan at half the cost I've been paying with supposedly the same coverage or close to it.  They also referred my application to the State's Medicaid plan to see whether I qualified through them as well - which I probably won't because I make too much money between my pension and SSDI.  I've taken a huge leap of faith and enrolled in the new coverage - paid for it, even -- and been reassured that by the end of the month, I'll have a new enrollment card.  I've spoken with the company three separate times and been reassured every time that, yes, I really have coverage.  We'll see come January 1st...

All in all, I found that the governmental site was rather easy to use and that the variety of plans was pretty reasonable.  I'm not sure if that's because Idaho's marketplace is better than other states or what.  Again, until I actually have an enrollment card in my cold little hands and start seeing how the insurance really pays, I am reserving judgment.  I also hung onto my dental coverage through my former employer to ensure that if this year is a complete bust, I can get my old policy back again, come next November.

Here's hoping that everyone else who've commented negatively find the process a little easier this month!

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