What follows is my personal experience in the odyssey of trying to obtain and / or keep health care insurance.
In March of 2013 I obtained a personal healthcare policy at a substantial savings over the nearly $700 dollars a month I had been paying under COBRA.
Yes, I was unemployed, I still am unemployed. Make no mistake, my unemployment isn’t for lack of trying to find something. I’m old (in my 50s) so obviously I’m not employable anymore and everything I know about anything is of course null & void.
I’ve applied to retail places, I’ve applied at Apple as a retail store clerk, I’ve applied at places that I should have been a shoe in. But nothing has led to my obtaining gainful employment.
So here I am, unemployed, with no unemployment benefits. I’m still paying my bills by using my 401k and being eaten alive with the penalties incurred from early withdrawal of funds.
I’ve got scary amounts on my credit cards and I’ve been just trying to hold out a little longer.
Ok, maybe I’m a foolish optimist, maybe, I should have cashed out and moved to South America or Indonesia when I could live for a good long time on the cash I have, and simply checked out of the rat race.
I haven’t, I still have hope. I still believe there is a place for me in the society of my birth. Albeit I’m starting to question that belief.
In November or December I received a notice from Anthem saying the due to Obamacare my policy was going to be cancelled.
I called Anthem and was told that due to the lateness of the notices, I had the option to extend my policy to February.
I thought “Cool” that will give the whole Obamacare rush and ensuing nightmare scheduled for January 1st, time to settle.
There were, and still are so many unknowns about the way that Obamacare is going to affect the health care industry I figured by mid February the information would be more available and I’d be better able to make an informed choice as a consumer.
So I told the Anthem representative I wanted to take the option. The representative said “excellent”, took some additional information and we terminated the connection.
Flash forward to yesterday. A routine monthly RX was suddenly denied. The pharmacy says that I need to show them a new insurance card, which I don’t have.
I’m thinking WTF?
I do some checking and find that the Anthem automatic deduction from my checking account didn’t take place. It usually happens within a 5 day spread we’re three days past that 5 day spread.
I’d noticed the billing was late but hey it’s January and they have to be busy as hell thanks to Obamacare.
Apparently, I’m now in an indeterminate state with my insurance. I’ve spent the past 4 hours on hold trying to reach an Anthem representative and had the call dropped 5 times.
This is not an issue I can fix on their damn web site, or via their voice recognition computer, I need a human being because something has clearly gone awry but I have no capacity to correct the problem (whatever that may be) by myself.
I did get a letter of explanation about why my original policy had been cancelled.
I apparently absolutely must have pediatric dentistry as part of the policy.
Since I have no children, I’m confused about why my health care policy was canceled to force me to add a service I will never use.
There have been reports of other single men across the country having their policies cancelled because their existing policy didn’t cover mammograms, pap smears, and other related singularly female issues.
My Anthem Dental policy recently FAILED to cover any part of a necessary treatment like a crown and refused to cover a necessary filling. But my new policy will, by God include pediatric dentistry.
I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to do a Dental policy when I selected the Obamacare approved policy in February.
My current Dental policy was costing more yearly, than the cost of 2 cleanings and once yearly X-rays, if I were to pay for these services out of pocket.
Since it didn’t cover much in the way of other dentistry I figured why bother? I’ll shop around for a dentist on my own and we’ll figure out a reasonable price for services on our own.
I’m confused by all these required services being required in every single policy. If I were to get married I’d review my insurance policy and make appropriate changes. If I were to become a father I would again review my insurance and make necessary changes.
In point of fact, these LIFE CHANGES have always been accommodated in corporate policies regardless of open enrollment periods.
I find myself completely confused and pissed off because Obamacare is screwing over the healthcare system. for the sake of maybe 10% of the population. But the other 90% of us are being absolutely FUCKED.
When I say FUCKED, I mean hard, fast, and dry!
When I found out there’d been a problem with my RXs, I asked the pharmacist what’s it going to cost for me to just pay for the stuff I need? The answer was astounding, $297.00!
And that is for generics!
I thought generics are supposed to be cheaper. Which led me to wonder what the “real” drugs cost. Would I be better off going to Tijuana and filling my RXs there? Or should I contact a Canadian Pharmacy and have a lovely 3 day weekend in Toronto once every six months?
OH Wait… That’s right, our FDA says the Canadian Drugs or Tijuana drugs aren’t the same, or as safe as the American versions.
Right! We’re expected to believe this in light of the defective Warfarin from China a few years ago?
Or the Oxycontin debacle, or the Indian drug company that had glass in it’s Statin products.
Or the other Indian drug company whose drugs were not at the correct concentration, or even the correct drug in some cases, or otherwise contaminated?
The FDA is full of shit and obviously in collusion with big pharmaceutical companies. But the FDA still wants us to believe American drugs are somehow safer than their foreign counterparts.
Uh, sure, yep, I’ll believe that.
In a pigs eye!
As I move into the fifth hour on hold I find myself wondering why I, and apparently a large chunk of average American citizens are being punished to provide insurance for a relatively small portion of the overall population?
It would have been far easier, and certainly more direct for the federal government to just PAY for all coverage for that part of the population. Or the government could have required that the insurance companies pay for the uninsured population out of their obscene profits. That would have had the same effect.
Yet we have a congress that apparently passed Obamacare without reading it.
Those members of congress that did read the law, raised objections and have subsequently been painted as some evil caricature of satan because they actually did their job and questioned the far reaching impacts of the law.
Any average citizen who questions the effectiveness of Obamacare is similarly painted as a racist, GOP RWNJ (Right wing nut job), and evil beyond all of Satan’s inner circle.
Discussion of the subject is more forbidden at the holiday table than religion, politics, or the next superbowl winner.
Many in the medical profession have been warning of massive disruptions in medical care and irrevocable changes or damage to our system that will likely leave our healthcare system in shambles.
Doctors are retiring early because they see a situation where they will not be able to provide their services without such intense government intrusion that compliance with government regulations will trump patient consideration.
I myself am once again looking at a 700 per month bill for insurance (per the conversation of December.) But my policy isn’t substantially changing.
After SIX hours in a hold queue I finally got an operator who had stuff on the ball and who was able to help me. Yeah, you read that correctly. SIX hours!
I still didn’t get all the stuff done I needed to with regard to the routine maintenance of the policy. But I was able to get the correct numbers to get the RX filled.
I’m grateful to that lady and I hope she had a great day.
As far as the rest of it?
I’m really starting to believe that Obamacare should be terminated before the damage done to the healthcare industry is irrevocable.
Of course since I’ve said that, I’m automatically a rabid, racist, gun totin, GOP RWNJ.
Hey ultra liberals, you may want to be very careful how you paint me. I might decide to own it.