I’m not one to share my political views publicly. This is a blog about my life with diabetes, not about what I believe politically. In today’s world, I feel like there is so much negativity and social media is saturated with everyone’s political views. It’s hard to know what’s real news and what’s fake news these days. With that being said, sometimes politics does affect me personally, with the Affordable Care Act being one example.
Having a pre-existing condition means I am always on the defense when it comes to health insurance. When Obamacare was passed I was worried. I didn’t know what it meant to me and once it was enacted it had various affects on my coverage. Now that we have a new president, my health insurance might once again change. The other day, my sister asked me how repealing Obamacare would affect me personally. Here is what I told her:
Before Obamacare, I had a small-business group insurance plan. This meant that anyone on the plan was charged the exorbitant fee that I was charged having a pre-existing condition. It’s my husband’s small business so it is just the two of us so that meant that his rate was charged the same high rate as mine. Because I was denied individual health insurance due to my diabetes, my husband had to give up his cheap individual plan so we would qualify for a group plan. When Obamacare was passed, we temporarily had a much cheaper group insurance rate and that was amazing. Obamacare made is so that we were charged at a rate for a “normal” woman my age and a normal man my husband’s age so our premiums went down.
However, we learned a few short months later that since we were a husband/wife business, we no longer qualified for group insurance under the ACA. This was so aggravating to me. As a result, we had to get individual insurance. Our premiums were still lower but I have found the individual plans to be way worse than the group plans (higher deductibles, copays, out of pocket max). Since we no longer needed two employees to qualify for a group plan, we could be under the same family plan. Now that we have two kids, all four of us are under the same plan so we can combine our claims to reach the OOP Max and deductibles sooner-win! There was a learning curve involved in the ACA because we initially signed up through Healthcare.gov and only about half the doctors in my area had contracts with that plan. The same plan going directly through the insurance company themselves (for a higher price) allowed all the doctors in my area so we learned the hard way just to go directly through the insurance company.
So what does it mean to me if the Affordable Care Act is repealed? That’s the scary thing, I have no idea! The Affordable Care Act made is so that I would no longer be denied health insurance. I was also given a cheaper rate for coverage. However, I was forced to get an individual plan which lacks in comparison to the group plans. If I switched back to the group plan, I will no longer have a family plan, which with my growing family isn’t ideal anymore.
In the meantime, I am going to wait and see what unfolds. I wish instead of spending time repealing Obamacare, they focus instead on the greed of the drug makers and the inefficiency the red tape of all this insurance causes for medical professionals. The whole industry needs to be revamped. I’m not sure what the right answer is but I really hope someone can figure it out and stop making changes every year that force me to worry how much more it’s going to cost me or if I can’t see my doctors anymore.