Health Care Scare

Well, I’ve already pissed people off this weekend on the topics of home birth and religion, so I might as well go for broke and touch on Obamacare.

Let me start by saying that yesterday marked the first day of 2014 that our family had health insurance.  That’s right, we – a family of nine – were without health insurance for two months.

What I find curious is that when I’ve mentioned this to people over the last several weeks – that we currently had no health insurance – the first thing out of a number of people’s mouths was something along the lines of, “Gotta love Obamacare, eh?” followed by a derisive snort.

It’s funny how people jump right to their own ideologies to explain things.

So, no, our being without health insurance for two months was not the fault of Obamacare.  It was actually the fault of Michael’s former employer.  See, when the firm he had been working for up until last September closed its doors, we continued our health coverage through COBRA.  Problem was, that former employer up and canceled the group policy without telling his former employees – and once the group policy is canceled, it’s not available even through COBRA.  We only discovered that our coverage had been canceled when one of us went to pick up a prescription refill at the pharmacy and were told we had no coverage.  A few IMG_3719phone calls later confirmed that, indeed, by that time we had already been without coverage for two weeks – since January 1 – only Anthem Blue Cross never even bothered to send us a notice of cancellation (and in fact, still hasn’t, and in fact, still owes us a refund of one month’s insurance premium which we mailed, and they accepted even though our policy had been canceled unbeknownst to us).  Under the Health Care Reform Act (yes, Obamacare), you must apply for new coverage by the fifteenth of the month in order for coverage to go into effect on the first of the following month.  We didn’t discover that we were without coverage until January 17, so we missed the deadline to get new coverage by February 1, and therefore had to wait until March 1 for new coverage to become effective (which, for what it’s worth, is NOT through Anthem Blue Cross – who was perfectly willing to accept our money even though our policy had been canceled, has yet to refund that money, and who was perfectly willing to not tell us that our doctors are no longer in their network, but try to get us to sign up for new coverage with them, saying that we could iron out the whole doctor thing later).

Anyway, so we have new health insurance now.  Hallelujah!  In the last two months while we’ve been without coverage, all nine of us got colds/flu while we crossed all of our fingers and toes that there would be no ear infections or upper respiratory infections requiring visits to urgent care, seven of us had stomach bugs that lingered, and Michael had an episode of abdominal pain, which, with his history, could definitely spell big trouble but which this time, thankfully didn’t.

So, back to Obamacare.

If I hear one more person say that Obamacare is socialized medicine, I swear to god I will throw an encyclopedia at them.  Obamacare is not socialized medicine.  Socialized medicine is characterized by the fact that the hospitals are owned and run by the government, and the doctors and nurses are all government employees.  In America – even with the evil Hitlercare Obamacare, health insurance is still private, for-profit enterprise.

Think Obamacare is Socialized Medicine?  5 Things You Should Know about Soviet Healthcare

How Aboot that Obamacare?  Why Health Reform Won’t Turn Us Into Canada

Is Obamacare perfect?  No.  Is it an attempt to regulate the health insurance industry?  Why yes, yes it is.  It is an attempt to make healthcare accessible to everyone.  Again, it is not perfect – but I don’t see anyone else coming up with a better solution.

Dudes, I am happy about Obamacare, okay?  So don’t think for a moment that your snide remarks about how Obamacare will be the downfall of America, blah blah blah will get a chuckle or a nod of agreement from me.  For us personally, we will be paying a little less for monthly premiums than we were when we had group coverage through Michael’s employer (and this is without subsidies – we don’t qualify).  The coverage we have now – effective yesterday – is in some ways better than what we had previously (we can choose our own doctors!  We can see specialists without a referral or authorization!  We have pediatric dental coverage – we’ve never had dental coverage!  We’ll pay less for prescriptions!), and in some ways not as good (some of the co-pays/shared costs will be higher).  But all in all, it’s definitely coverage we can live with and are happy to have.  And hey, Michael is a cancer survivor.  Finn has Down syndrome.  Those are pre-existing conditions, my friends.  Yeah, we’re pretty happy to have this coverage.

And you know what?  I would be happy to pay a little more than we were paying before in order to make it possible for someone else to be able to get coverage who otherwise couldn’t afford it.   That insurance is an enterprise that spreads the risk and the cost among many is not a new idea, folks – that’s what insurance has always been about.

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18 Responses to Health Care Scare

  1. blendingwords March 3, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    I am grateful for Obamacare. I carried (and paid into) medical insurance for my family for 29 years through my employers. I took a new job with a small non-profit last year and had to look for a new policy (the COBRA from my previous employer was too high for our budget). I was denied coverage due to a previous breast cancer diagnosis. This was especially frustrating for me considering I’m pretty healthy while my husband has a long list of chronic issues that he seeks medical coverage for. They made him the policy holder! So while my family all enjoyed great medical coverage last year, I went without and hoped my cancer would not come back. I’m finally back on medical coverage and even though our deductible is high, I feel relieved to have something. I have a friend who worked minimum wage jobs most of her life with no insurance until recently. She is now able to take care of things which allows her to stay employable. At least someone was willing to TRY something.

  2. Mom of 2 March 3, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    I live in Canada and work at a hospital.
    Why are Americans against soilaized health care?
    We have excellent doctors, no deductible or bills
    and are all treated equally.

    • Mom of 2 March 3, 2014 at 1:26 am #

      I just wanted to add the government pays for all prescriptions for people over 65 with a yearly deductible of $100. We pay more taxes but we are covered from infancy til old age.

      • Mom of 2 March 3, 2014 at 1:31 am #

        I meant socialized health care. Darn auto correct:)
        Love your blog and the issues you discuss!!

        • Lisa March 3, 2014 at 1:53 am #

          Thank you!

    • Lisa March 3, 2014 at 1:52 am #

      I don’t know why Americans are against socialized medicine. Good question. I think Americans are afraid of anything . . . un-American. I think socialized medicine is perceived to be just a hair away from Communism. And I think Americans don’t like the idea of “freeloaders”; only the worthy, the deserving (i.e., those who have the means to pay for it themselves) should get anything. Those who are less fortunate are just losers who don’t work hard enough.

  3. Nicole March 3, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    **slow clap**

    Thank – thank – THANK YOU for this.

    • Lisa March 3, 2014 at 1:53 am #

      🙂

  4. capecodgirl March 3, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    Well said. I wish I could say that to people when they bash Obamacare, but can never figure out how to say it as well as you just did

  5. Lisa March 3, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    Congratulations on the healthcare! I for one would love socialized healthcare. When my husband got laid off two years ago it was scary not having an income but to also not have healthcare was paralyzingly scary. I have two friends , one from France and one from Australia and the both loved socialized healthcare.
    Let me start off saying I have no issues paying more if I can afford more. The problem I have with obamacare is that I have to stay with my employer and our healthcare has been down graded from an HMO to an 80/20 with a deductible. It sucks. Same thing happened to my friends and family. My uncle sells insurance packages to companies and says this is an end result of obamacare.
    I know obamacare was designed to get the expense of the poor off the governments backs as I am sure you do as well . It isn’t actually working as planned because the poor are still using the ER rather than the plan which was the whole point of getting healthcare to them .I guess it depends which side of the fence you are on. I just think it should be the same plan for everyone.

  6. issianemmiamy March 3, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    Thank you.
    I applaud you for this post. I want to smack people when they start to complain about Obamacare because they probably don’t know what it’s like to get to be nervous about that cough sniffle stomach ache. It took gut for our President to push this through. We live in the “greatest” country and everyone in this country should be able to get medical care when they need it. Not when it will be too late.

  7. Deborah Mitchell March 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Great post, Lisa. Sorry to hear that you guys had to go without for two months. I am in support of RomneyCare/Obamacare/ACA. Our politicians have excellent healthcare thanks to us—our citizens should have the same options. People should not have to worry about something as basic as healthcare. It would be a different story if we had reasonably-price care that was within the reach of everyone, but because healthcare became a high-profit game for so many industries, the consumers got the short end of the stick…

  8. Anna March 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Just want to join in with the others to thank you for this post! Well said and appreciated. Not personally affected by this yet, but couldn’t agree more with your key points!

  9. Gramps March 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Nothing but a good experience so far for my Son
    Great post

  10. Amy March 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    As an American living in Canada with socialized healthcare, this topic frustrates me to no end. My parents had to declared bankruptcy after my dad had several years of terrible health. Surgery after surgery just did them in and they had health insurance! It frustrates me when Americans slam our system up here- it is not perfect, but show me a system that is! Every person has basic coverage here from the CEO of a big corporation to the homeless man on the street. Employers also offer insurance just like in the states to cover dental, prescriptions, etc. I think you nailed it when you stated that Americans do not like the idea of freeloaders. But honestly that never comes to my mind when I am sitting in the doctors office not worrying about paying a copay. Or back in June when my then 9 year old had emergency surgery. The only thing I worried about was my little boy getting better.

    I am glad your family is covered again. It has to be a relief.

  11. bj March 6, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Send your story to your congressman, if you are happy that you were able to get coverage — through an exchange? I live in a state that already guaranteed coverage in spite of pre-existing conditions, though you had to maintain continuous coverage, which could have been an issue for your situation (a policy that was cancelled without you’re being informed of it). Our coverage price, however, would have been impacted by the mild chronic conditions in our family, though and so we are pleased with the new Obamacare rules, which means we can get coverage, at a price we can estimate, without having to be tied to an employer (whose main offices are distant from where we live).

    I think your story is actually a pretty good example of the situations in which Obamacare really does help (and, without the subsidy, which, of course, helps those who wouldn’t have insurance without it).

    I too have no issue paying more for health insurance so that people who have had cancer, or breast cancer scares, or have children with chronic medical needs, or are poor, can get health insurance and health care, too.

    • Lisa March 6, 2014 at 5:08 am #

      No, we didn’t go through an exchange. I actually tried and tried to get on the California Covered website, but had a lot of trouble with it. Purely by chance one day, I ran into a friend who mentioned a friend of hers who is an insurance broker, so I got her contact info and she did all the heavy lifting, so to speak, to find a good plan for us.

      Anyway. I guess that’s why I wanted to share what our experience has been, because I’m tired of hearing people slam Obamacare; we’re a family that is benefiting from it.

  12. Angel The Alien March 13, 2014 at 3:15 am #

    I am really happy about Obamacare. I went for YEARS without having insurance. For several years I was a full-time student, and although my university offered some sort of basic healthcare, it was only located at a campus that was way far from my house and impossible to get to. And it was really just a nurse practitioner. And currently, as a substitute teacher, even though I work pretty much full time i don’t qualify for insurance. I looked into buying private insurance before, but there was no way I could afford it, and I thought it would be cheaper just to pay out of pocket on the occasions that I got sick. Now I actually get to do things like get a physical exam, and I don’t have to worry about the painful withdrawal symptoms that happen when I can’t afford my medications. I understand why some people don’t like it… but for me, right now, it is a lifesaver!

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