This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

OMG the ACA is like FML

Last night I was watching “The Daily Show” from Monday night featuring a small bit on the inability for many of us to sign up for an “Obamacare” plan because the website where we would do so is having technical difficulties. I’d embed the clip here, but ironically the button to facilitate that is not working. Who coded your website, Jon Stewart? THE GOVERNMENT?

Essentially it showcased news outlets reporting on this technical glitch including footage of NBC reporter Mara Schiavocampo who was put on hold for over fifteen minutes when she called the help line. Fifteen whole minutes. Can you even believe that? It then cut to Jon’s face and his knowing smirk where it paused for effect, and then it showed a picture of people camping outside a movie theater. We are a culture, he pointed out, who will sleep outside for three days in order to see a movie about shirtless werewolves, BUT DO NOT MAKE ME WAIT 15 GODDAMN MINUTES FOR LIFE-SAVING HEALTH COVERAGE.

healthcare

Over the last couple of months I’ve received no less than 200 reminders from my insurance provider that it will cease to exist on December 31, 2013 and that if I do not buy coverage that is offered through the government exchange I will no longer be covered after that date. This means that I have to find Leta new coverage as well. The two of us couldn’t qualify for private insurance, but because we’re lucky enough to live in a state that has a high risk pool for people with pre-existing conditions, we were able to purchase very high-premium, high-deductible, pretty much just catastrophic insurance.

Marlo qualified for a private insurance policy because she was not born with a pre-existing condition. She was also lucky enough that her birthday occurred before insurance companies dropped individual plans for children altogether when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Totally dick move on the part of healthcare companies if you ask me OR ANYONE ELSE WHO CARES ABOUT CHILDREN.

The high risk pool that covers me and Leta is now going away, and when I researched the plans that would be offered in the exchange, I was very happy to find out that I will be able to purchase far better insurance for far less money. Not only I will be saving hundreds of dollars a month on health insurance for both me and Leta, but we will also both have dental coverage. My new plan will also cover mental health, something my old plan must have regarded as an imaginary condition considering how much I have paid out of pocket to see my therapist and psychiatrist over the last eight years.

Is it frustrating that I cannot yet sign up for this new coverage? Sure. Technical difficulties are never fun. But this is far less terrifying than being in the highest carriage on a ferris wheel when the motor suddenly breaks. I get the feeling that those of us who have been paying insane premiums and deductibles, those of us who couldn’t afford those premiums and have lived under the threat of medically-induced bankruptcy, we’re used to dealing with frustration far more intense. The website won’t load? Okay, I’ll try it again in an hour. And if I still can’t access it? I’ll keep trying. And then I’ll try again. A fifteen minute wait on the phone? I’ll use the time I’m on hold to do an impromptu square dance in the kitchen BECAUSE MY CHILD AND I FINALLY GET ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE YES MY CAPS LOCK GOT STUCK TODAY. Mara Schiavocampo, I would like to invite you to a special dance in my kitchen. Refreshments will be served.

  • EMP

    Sweet. It’s nice to hear stories of this working the way it’s supposed to. Everyone deserves good health care!

  • Thanks for reaching out, Cathy. One day at a time.

  • ragstoriches

    Good heavens, folks. Of course it was going to be hard to get on the site at the start! I don’t even plan to take a look for another month or so, because that will still give me plenty of time and I expect things will be much smoother by then. And frankly I’m glad they didn’t build a system that was equipped to handle million of users all at once, since that kind of volume will never happen again, and it would have been costly overkill. Like Dooce, my self-employed H’s pre-existing conditions forced him into our state’s high risk pool–crappy coverage at an insane price. We’ll be saving hundreds of dollars a month on his premiums alone. I’ve been happy dancing for days!

  • Carrie

    I’m currently paying $360 which will go up to $440 in December. The ones I’ve found under ACA range from $500-$700 for the gold plans to a bit over $300 for the bronze. The bronze plans seem comparable to what I currently have so it will be over $100 less a month for similar coverage. Wouldn’t have minded better savings but I’ll take it!

  • shellbell

    I thought I posted this the other day, but I can’t find it on here – I hope I’m not being redundant…

    My husband’s company went through a rough patch a few years ago and our insurance coverage was cut to nothing so we got a private plan through a well-known, popular insurance company. The first year my family went to the doctor for kidney stones, speech/hearing evaluations, eye tests, and a fibroid diagnosis. We renewed the private plan the next year and guess what the reputable insurance company would NOT cover? ANY issues related to the above. They excluded anything that we went to the doctor for the year before.

    My husband’s company righted itself and offered decent coverage again so we ditched the private plan. But we had a different insurance company every year. It was a revolving door. I had to check and see if our doctors and medications were on the plan and petition to get them added if they weren’t. We paid out-of-pocket one year for our pediatrician because she was not on the plan and I couldn’t get her on it. Then the ACA passed and before it even went into effect, I started noticing changes. We have had the same insurance company for the last few years, the coverage is definitely better, and our premiums have stayed the same instead of going up.

    I really don’t understand the uproar over the ACA. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Taking the emergency room option out of the equation for simple colds and flu will save everyone money. And hell yes we need a mandate. No one knows when they might have an accident and need expensive medical care. When that person is uninsured, I am penalized. I am very happy that the democrats passed this law. And by the way, I am a registered Independent with fiscally conservative and socially liberal views.

  • infarmol

    Thank you for this.

  • Brynn in Co

    Good post….but I can’t believe you left the comments open on this one. Running away now!

  • Sarah Virginia Schroeder

    I love this post. As the mom of a medically fragile child and the wife of a man with bipolar I cannot believe the lies I hear about the ACA.

  • Helen

    I really don’t think it’s your place to lecture people who weren’t talking to you or about you in the first place. And I realize I’m doing the same thing now, to you, but I see way too much of this kind of thing and I’m just sick of it.

  • Hullo

    Just one question: how much is the deductible for the bronze plan for you? I will have to not only pay the premium, but until I spend about 12000.00 out of pocket before it kicks in!!!

  • Liz

    I live in NC and our insurer is no longer offering our plan. We’ll be paying 333% more per month under a new similar plan (higher deductible and coinsurance). I definitely like certain aspects of ACA, but am very disappointed about having to pay this much more and we don’t qualify for any tax credits or subsidies. We’re a very young family with a mortgage, student loan payments, saving for kids’ college, retirement, etc. We’re trying to be financially responsible as all the experts suggest, but having to pay this much more makes it difficult. I want everyone to have good healthcare, but I feel like the ACA is being implemented on the backs of young people who are already struggling to find jobs, repay loans, and start off their adulthood in a financially responsible way.

  • AlphaBlondie

    You have a lot invested in the “success” of Obamacare. You could give details of how much you “save” and how much your deductible is, etc. or you have no credibility on this subject whatsoever. I’m guessing you pay out of pocket and the insurance you’ve purchased at a cheaper rate falls into the catastrophic category. No one will hold their breath for you to actually say something credible though. Counting the seconds until you delete my comment. Yawn…