It is that time again, when we start to play the health insurance game.
I am the Poster Child for the person who needs insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Without Obama Care, I would not have insurance, or have to pay at least $1000 a month for it. My husband had always been a state employee (instructor at a community college), so had excellent health insurance. When I was working for an organization where health insurance was available to employees, of course I participated. But there was always the state health plan option.
When my husband’s employment ended, so did the State Health Plan for me. At the meeting with the Human Recourses Department at the community college soon after my husband’s death, I was offered one month of COBRA (for my daughter and myself) for $1000. This was the end of March, 2014, and near the end of the initial enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Luckily, I had been meeting with a group of professional women during the last year, one of whom was working with ACA enrollment. I immediately called her, and within a few days had the insurance that my daughter and I needed, at a very reasonable cost, because I had no income at that time – and really didn’t know what it was going to be in the future. I had ended employment as Interim Manager of a local Thrift Shop a week prior to my husband’s death. It was a small nonprofit organization, so, of course, it did not offer insurance to its employees.
So, now, here I am again in December, 2014. Time for a new enrollment. I still am not employed, but work through the issues resulting from my husband’s death (selling a house, buying a house, moving, writing the blog, developing a widow’s financial management curriculum). In the interim, I have qualified to receive my husband’s State Retirement, in addition to Social Security. Between the two, I am able to live comfortably, pay college tuition for my daughter, and wait for the “big” house to sell (sooner rather than later would be nice, however!) .
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Insurance is my life preserver. My agent contacted me about a week ago and reminded me that it was time to start looking at options for next year. With my current income, my ACA premium will be about $500 a month for me and my daughter. Thank goodness it is still available.
But – now I live in a new town, (very small), so I talked to my sister who lives here about physician options. There is one doctor who attends the same church that I am, and has a great reputation. My Agent suggested that one of my selection criteria should be “which provider pays your doctor’s invoices most promptly”. So…I went to the office (3 employees, including the Doc) and asked the question: “Which insurance company pays your bills most promptly?” After her puzzled expression, I explained that her answer would be a major criteria in selecting my insurer under the ACA.
The lovely lady just laughed, and told me that Blue Cross Blue Shield had been doing a good job of reimbursing their costs.
So – Blue Cross, Blue Shield it is.