Hurry! Sign up for Obamacare!

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.

How To Choose Between Bronze, Silver, Gold And Platinum Health Insurance Plans.

Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act.

Weighing Health Plans: The Devilish Details.

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.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Hurry! Sign up for Obamacare!

  1. I think I left a comment in an earlier post of yours about the ACA. At any rate, I live in Alabama — only ONE ins. provider here. Seriously. However, I’m still glad I can get insurance due to having pre-existing conditions. I pay 550.00 a month, but only have a $100.00 deductible (the platinum plan). My subsidy is around $200 a month, so you can see how expensive a truly good ins. plan is here. Our governor (supposedly a doctor but surely a fraud) did NOT extend medicaid, so there’s a LOT of poor people left hanging out to dry.

    Still, I am so thankful for the ACA. It has allowed me peace of mind, knowing an illness will NOT cause me to go bankrupt and lose everything my late husband & I worked for all our lives. Now insurance has to actually cover the things they always omitted in the past (because they wanted enormous profits instead of providing benefits). Already I’ve had an MRI on my back (spinal arthritis); an annual FREE checkup, including blood profile, etc.

    I loath the ins. companies because I think they exist only to siphon off money from those needing medical care. A single payer option, in my opinion, is what we need. Hopefully we’ll get that someday. In the meantime, I’m just hoping to make it a few more years until I get medicare. Big Sigh.

  2. I also hope for the single payer option someday. I’m so glad you have affordable insurance though. I can’t get over that there’s only one provider.

    If I was in the health insurance business I’d set up shop in Alabama!

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