Thanks to the urging of my friend Christine, I knuckled down, and went to New York’s healthcare exchange and spent a few days learning about my options and picking one.
I want to encourage everyone to do the same. If you’re poor or low-income you’re going to pay less. A lot less. If you’re very poor you will get insurance at no cost to you at all. If you’re middle-income you are going to pay less or roughly the same—you have to research very carefully and calculate your risks.
I see some people’s insurance premiums are going up because their existing insurance provider is raising their prices. Why are they raising their prices? Is it because they have to cover things they didn’t cover before? I looked at what insurance companies have to cover now and it’s pretty basic stuff. If they weren’t covering these before, what were people paying for??
Is it because their administrative costs are going up and they want to maintain what I am sure is an insanely high profit margin? Fuck them in both cases. They are the bad guy, not Obamacare. (Also, I don’t get why insurance companies don’t love the ACA in the end. All these new customers! I have to believe that in the new few years, there will be a shake-out in the health insurance industry. Competitors will arise and there will be more and better options.)
So if you are one of the people whose insurance is going up, get online and find another provider and plan. Maybe you hate the idea of finding new doctors. I hated the idea at first too, but eventually I decided it wasn’t the end of the world and saving money was a good idea, and then it turned out I didn’t have to. Even though my primary care doctor wasn’t listed, and his office said they didn’t take any of the plans I was considering, the person who was helping me when I called New York’s healthcare exchange insisted that they misunderstand or were mistaken and she talked me into calling my doctor’s office back. My doctor’s office had made a mistake and I don’t have to change doctors.
I forgot, some states turned down Medicaid expansion. Which was free and would have helped a lot of people in their state. They are the biggest fuckers of all. Don’t vote for those guys the next time around. Also, some states might be offering more limited options. I’d be interested in hearing about these, and why that is.
Update: Here’s an article about states with fewer and not great options. “Some states have had a flowering of competition among insurers, including nonprofit co-ops — entirely new entities that are capturing the largest market share with low prices and remaking the coverage landscape in places like Maine. But in other places, including parts of states like New Hampshire and West Virginia, consumers have hardly any insurance choices at all.”
My sympathy if you live in one of these states. I wonder if you will have better options next year, when the marketplace in your state wises up to the opportunities?
These articles helped me understand how to approach making a choice. Please dig in and explore your options.
Finney and Bleeck relax because their caretaker has new health insurance and will hopefully be around to feed them for a long time to come.