Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jumping into Obamacare

On Sunday I finally took the plunge. With the click of a mouse I dove into Obamacare. With just one click I relinquished my former healthcare plan and put my family's insurance needs in the hands of one of the most massive social experiments in US history.

It was scary, but I had no other choice, because I was one of millions of Americans whose plans were cancelled last year: the coverage I had didn't meet the requirements of the law.

I'm not sure what I think of this law, but you can bet I'll keep you abreast of my experiences. Here are my initial observations:

  • Separating health insurance from employment is a good idea. Doing so will untether bright minds from jobs without opportunity, advancement, or intellectual stimulation. Entrepreneurship will become more attractive, and the American workforce will become more mobile and flexible. Think about it: how many people do you know who stay in their jobs simply because of the benefits? The number is quite large, I think.
  • Affordable is not the word I would use to describe the government plans. Even with a qualifying subsidy my new plan will be more expensive than my old one, which I thought was too expensive.
  • Most of the plans on the exchanges in my area have very small doctor networks. I, like everyone else, want to visit the very best doctors in my area, regardless of their hospital affiliation. I picked the plan I did because it was the only one in Cleveland that covered the many doctors I choose to visit at the Cleveland Clinic, and I refuse to live in Cleveland yet be barred from using one of the best hospitals in the world. (Insane, right?)
  • I've spent hours researching plans. I've spent hours talking to insurers on the phone. I've spent hours fiddling with the government website. Navigating Obamacare has been time consuming, and we all know that time is money.
  • I've been irritated by the particulars of the law, which seem to change weekly. I wish Obama would stand, unwavering, behind this law so we could see how it works. (I will also be pissed if this law is overturned before we can make that determination).
  • My new plan is definitely more comprehensive than my last one. Do I need that extra coverage? Time will tell.
Have you had experiences with the Affordable Care Act? What do you think of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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