The Affordable Healthcare Act and My Personal Experience

Yes, I am VERY liberal.  And yes, I voted for Barack Obama.  Do I think he is the best president- no.  Do I think that he is the worst president-no.  But this post is not about all of his politics and the state of our country.  This is solely about my personal experience with The Affordable Healthcare Act.

Before I start, I know that this is hot topic.  It is a very polarizing issue; and I am asking you to keep in mind that this in MY experience, not a reflection of anyone else’s.  I am asking you to please keep any comments focused on those that are directly related to my experience.

The United States is the last industrialized nation to not have universal healthcare. Now, before anyone starts throwing out words like communist or socialist, for me, that fact alone is astounding.  When the idea of The Affordable Healthcare Act was first mentioned, I thought to myself that makes sense and it’s about time.  And throwing in the idea that you could still keep your private insurance was a great way to please those who didn’t want government run health insurance and by helping those who need it.

It was a start.

After recently moving, my husband and I both have jobs where they do not offer healthcare.  Ok, I have no problem with that.  The fact is, we are young enough that whatever health related problems we had, we were able to just pay out of our pocket.  This is because we rarely had any issues.  Both of our kids were covered through Florida Kidcare, and we paid a monthly fee based off of our income.

A little back information:

Both of our children have medical issues that require specialists.  The 9 year old is epileptic.  His seizures are severe and are triggered by being tired.  So, for anyone who has a child this age and you know how they can wear themselves out and fight being tired, this is something we have to be very conscious of because that’s what sets off his seizures.

Our 4 year old was born with Primary Congenital Glaucoma.  She had to have eye surgery at 5 weeks old and subsequently, she has to see an eye doctor every 6 weeks to check the pressure in her eyes.  But that isn’t the most accurate reading.  So, she has to go under anesthesia, to get an accurate pressure reading.  This has happened so many times in her short, four year old life,  that I can’t even count anymore.  If she doesn’t have her pressure monitored, she will go blind.  That is not an over exaggeration, but a fact.

When the Healthcare Marketplace opened, we looked for plans for us.  However, because of all of the problems with the website, we were unable to completely login and see what our options were until a few weeks ago. We decided that we wanted to really sit down and go over the plans before jumping the gun and picking the cheapest one.  During this time, we were notified that Florida Kidcare had to follow new regulations in January and they kicked the kids back over to Medicaid.

OK? But what does that mean?

Well, I guess there are two part to Medicaid now: one that covers everything and one that is a shared cost plan.

It should be noted that we are not even close to middle class.  Besides the fact that I am drowning in student loans, we both make barely above minimum wage.  If I told you our annual household income for a family of four, you would be shocked.  But, we make it work.  We budget, we save and we both have jobs that we love.  

Back to Medicaid.  We found out that the kids are only covered through the Medicaid Shared Cost Program.  Think of it like a deductible, only instead of it being yearly, it’s monthly.  Now, try and take a guess what EACH child’s shared cost is? (Meaning how much of their medical bills we would have to pay out of pocket in a month before Medicaid kicks in.)

Go Ahead.  Guess.

$3,113.00 per child!  What?  How can a child even get that many medical bills in one month.  ONE MONTH!!!

Of course, my initial reaction was that this can’t be right.  I called Florida Kidcare and they told me to call Medicaid.  Medicaid asked if wanted to remove the children from Medicaid.

YES!!  Please!

So, I finally get to log on to the healthcare.gov site and start putting in all of our information.  After going through the step-by-step process, it kicked out our options for healthcare plans.  However, IT WON’T INSURE OUR KIDS.  Again, WTF?  Because the both kids qualify for Medicaid, so that’s what they have to go with.  Even after calling Medicaid and having them removed, it doesn’t matter.  No insurance policy in the Healthcare.gov system will cover both us and the kids.  I then called the Healthcare.gov people and tried to explain that we will pay a higher premium so that we could ALL be covered.

Nope.  Not an option.  

So, we are left with a couple of options:

Use the shared cost on Medicaid for the kids and but marketplace healthcare coverage for us.

The hubs can get a part-time job at UPS (Because they offer full benefits to part-time employees and has shifts that work with his current work schedule.)

or

The hubs will have to quit his job and find a new one that has full coverage benefits for him and the family.

I think that I need to state, that I’m sure for lots of people, this healthcare act is a lifesaver.  I’m really not even knocking it, just the process.  I guess I thought that when you make something like this on federal level, it should be the same for every state across the board.    But it’s not.

Perhaps we are in the 1% minority that this has affected in a negative way.  I just hope we can get this all sorted out soon!

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The U.S. stands almost entirely alone among developed nations that lack universal health care.

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