In 2008 I started my own business, and after years of enjoying employer-provided group insurance, I had to buy my own health insurance for the first time. It was a horrible experience. I filled out mounds of paperwork, and the insurance company decided I had a “pre-existing condition.” This meant the insurance company would not pay for any care related to any similar problems in the future.
I exercise and take good care of myself, but illness happens. I was scared. So I looked into changing my insurance plan three times over the next five years. Each time felt like banging my head against a wall. For instance, when I got married in 2009, I was told that I had 30 days from my wedding date to decide if I wanted to add maternity coverage to my policy and it would more than double my premium. I just could not afford that. I went uninsured for a basic, natural event — having a child.
I looked into changing my policy again in 2010 and 2012. Each time, my options were more confusing, more expensive or more restrictive than the last. The limits to my health insurance coverage loomed like a black cloud over my head. What if I found myself in a situation that wasn’t covered? Was I foolishly putting myself and my husband at financial risk?
My health insurance situation felt like a huge obstacle to living our life the way we wanted to live it.I wanted to stay self-employed. I didn’t want to give up my entrepreneurial dreams and work for someone else just to have decent health insurance. Finally, a friend in the health care industry suggested I wait until Obamacare rolled out, to review my options under the Affordable Care Act. So, I made an appointment to visit a certified Obamacare insurance agent on Oct. 25. That day, the black cloud disappeared.
I didn’t have to make a decision about paying an extra $250-$300 a month for maternity coverage I didn’t know when or if I might use. My monthly premium went from $240 to $207. That includes maternity coverage, free preventive care, lower deductibles and lower annual out-of-pocket maximums. I keep my doctors and my insurance carrier. And my husband — also self-employed — found a policy for $100 a month cheaper than his current policy, keeping the same benefits. Now that's my Obamacare story.
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I am a 42 year old single, white female. I was born with congenital hydrocephalus that went undiagnosed until age 22. At age 34, I was diagnosed with unrelated Multiple Sclerosis at age 34 while living in Los Angeles. The diagnosis of MS immediately sent me from a regular individual to someone who would never be able to get individual insurance. I would always be held hostage by the need for "group" health insurance. Gone were my dreams of following in my father's footsteps of entrepreneurship. So I found a job back in Knoxville, working for a large healthcare conglomerate in it's public relations department. I was surprised by the shoddy nature of the health insurance and my personal expense on the company policy.
Due to an MS related issue, I lost my job and I have been paying for COBRA for a year. Because of the ACA, I just got a health insurance policy on my own that is better and cheaper than what I have been paying for. Even if I received no subsidy, the plan would be cheaper and better. On my other plan, my MS drug is $150 a month. Except for the month of January when my drug deductible of $200 made that month's drug cost $350. I could not afford that. With my new plan, there will be no drug deductible. And I will have a maximum out of pocket, which I currently do not have. And I can get back on the entrepreneurship track. I can create a few jobs, I can be a happy employee now.
I shouted my good news from the roof tops. I found out there are people out there who think there is an "Obamacare" policy. I had a doctor's office tell me they wouldn't be accepting that "health marketplace" policy, And I have a rabid Republican friend who is paying $399 for a policy that was unaware she might (will) qualify for a subsidy. The amount of misinformation and just plain stupidity about this issue is astounding. There needs to be better communication about this issue.
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Yep, Obamacare works well for some, but poorly for most. I'm talking about most people who don't depend on the government dole. Obamacare is a form of government sponsored robbery in the way of an entitlement paid for by the citizenry in general.
Think of all the people who can't even get on the website. Think of all those in the individual market with policies that worked for them and that they liked but whose coverage almighty Obama found "inadequate." Then ask yourself these questions: Why should a postmenstrual female have maternity coverage? Why should a middle aged couple with grandchildren have pediatric coverage? Why should traditional customers of health care companies have unproven, non-traditional coverage they'll never use like acupunctureand chiropractic?
The problem with Obamacare is at its core. It is not so much a health plan as a wealth redistribution scheme. The other writers in this thread of comments bear that out. They think it's great that others will subsidize their MS care and a reduced monthly premium. Taking money out of other taxpayers' pockets to put into theirs is okay with them. It's the same with taxes in general; these are the kind of people who think it's just fine to raises taxes on everyone else to get a benefit for themselves at no cost.
So I hope these two ladies continue to feel okay with taking money from other taxpayers to make their own lives easier. You see, nothing is free. If you get something at low or no cost, someone else is paying for it. Remember: there is no free lunch. So it is with Obamacare, as the rest of us are paying for the buffet.
Nonetheless, Obamacare is not tricking enough healthy young people to pay premiums that will pay these two ladies' healthcare. It the trend continues, Obamacare will go belly up or Obamacare enrollees' costs will skyrocket. What will these ladies do then? Suck it up and pay for much higher insurance premiums? Or blame society and the evil health insurance companies who'll be forced to cancel their coverage or raise their policy costs? In the end, I bet they'll be perfectly fine with being on TennCare or Medicare -- anything as long as the taxpayer, who is you and me, pays their way for them.
Entitlements are welfare, and Obamacare is no different. Not too long ago, before the age of Obama and 47,000,000 food stamp recipients, being on welfare carried a feeling of shame and failure. Now Obamacare, Obamaphones, government-funded abortion, EBT cards and free contraception are mainstream dogma of the Democratic party. Where has pride gone? How is it that bragging about being on welfare like Obamacare no longer is a source of embarrassment?
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If my research proves accurate, a quick check of some names revealed that both Ms. Piper and Ms. Lee are or have been active in the Democrat party. Perhaps other readers also thought it was curious that both women hyping ObamaCare live in Knoxville but are promoting the ObamaCare agenda in Chattanooga.
Judging from their letters, the Enroll America group is already out ahead of their required Democrat-party Thanksgiving Day push to promote ObamaCare. It is also a fact that Enroll American is now engaged in a dedicated media blitz across the nation to promote the program because of the low participation rate of young, healthy Americans essential to support the system. It is also true that Democrat party representatives in D.C., have been sent home for the holidays with marching orders to push ObamaCare in their home states.
It is well known at this point that while some people may benefit through the exchanges and subsidies, the majority of Americans are finding that they are and will continue losing their much more affordable employer-subsidized health insurance policies and are now stuck with policies that are unaffordable, carry large deductibles, and increase costs by adding on coverage for things they do not want or need. That should not be news for anyone who has been tracking the published news and costs provided by the federal government and the state exchanges.
Isn't it enough that the Democrat-funded Enroll America-paid personnel have been directed to ruin everyone's holiday dinner by "talking up" ObamaCare during their family dinners and with friends this year? Isn't it enough that Families USA, another Democrat-partisan "non-profit" closely aligned with Obama and Enroll America received a $1.1 million grant to actively "produce positive stories about ObamaCare"? Isn't it enough that the tax-exempt organization Living Affected has been paid by the Democrat party to invade colleges and distribute free male and female condoms and dental dams in order to sign up students for ObamaCare?
Do you also have to ruin a national holiday by pushing this ObamaCare Turkey through the local media? How much propaganda is too much? And how desperate can you get?
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It’s my understanding that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2014, so I’d be curious to know how many medical bills have been paid through Obamacare for these allegedly satisfied customers.
The quality of an insurance company isn’t in its premiums but in its willingness and ability to pay claims.
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Well, I'm not exactly shocked at the predictable replies to the Affordable Care Act. I am rather puzzled that that it's actually a healthcare solution championed by Stu Butler of the Heritage Foundation in 1989. At the time he was quoted as saying, “Many states now require passengers in automobiles to wear seat-belts for their own protection. Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement."
A few years later, in 1993, it was introduced into bills by Republican legislators and was supported by Chuck Grassley, Newt Gingrich, and Orrin Hatch as a viable choice to the single payer system proposed by the Clinton administration.
Ironic, huh? Well, ask yourself what has changed. Only thing I can figure is, now that the black guy wants to do it, it's either instantly become a bad idea, the end of the world, or worse than slavery......take your pick.
Meanwhile, I'm sure the "I've got mine, screw you" letters will continue.
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First of all, let me state that I do live in Chattanooga, not Knoxville, and I am not a part of any Democratic group or organization funded by or promoting the the Democratic party, its policies or aspirations.
"Obamacare" or more correctly, the Affordable Care Act worked for me too. For over 20 years, I was covered by a group plan and for the most part was oblivious to the costs of healthcare, except when my employer would inform me that deductibles would be going up and services were being cut. This seemed to be an annual event and premiums seemed to rise as much as 30 percent some years. Don't ever remember them going down.
I left that company and started my own business a few years ago and I took the COBRA option to keep me and my family of four at the same level of care, with the same company. I was shocked that my monthly premium was $1,400 per month. They told me that I would have to keep it for 18 months and after that time "they would consider my plan and whether or not to reduce my premium." We only got the occasional prescription and office visit, so after about 10 months of this, I "considered" my options decided enough was enough and switched to an HSA plan.
Fast forward to now and the Affordable Care Act and I am now able to get a plan with that same former provider, prescription services, office visits and a lower deductible for $650 per month. So, yeah..it is working for me. Forget the website, it will get worked out and I am sure replaced with a better site at a later time. The website is not healthcare or insurance..it is just a place to buy it.
And to Mr. Nichols, please read and understand what the Affordable Care Act is, before commenting on it. It is "not for getting people on the government dole" as you stated or a form of government robbery". What it is, is a law to prevent insurers from charging whatever they want to charge or denying coverage to those who need it most. The Affordable Care Act is a good thing and will reduce healthcare costs in this country, as it has for me.