Obamacare & Me

Bottom line: Not gonna happen, not this year anyway.

My job already provides catastrophic insurance, which pays for essentially nothing because of its mammoth deductible. Since I put $100 a month into a health savings account, that’s fine: the HSA pays 100% of my thyroid pills and contact lenses, anything dental that’s not covered by my dental insurance, and it easily covered my one visit to a doctor back in January. (Which I know I haven’t mentioned, Reader Zero, but trust me, you’d thank me for that.) The account is ahead right now by something like $1000. So the current plan is working for me, as long as I stay healthy.

A month ago my provider sent a letter saying I had two months to re-sign their contract; after that, the premium would go up a lot, because of Obamacare. Mm-kay, whatever you say… It’s true, I guess, that if an insurance company has an excuse to raise their rates, they will. And if Obamacare is the excuse, you could say the increase is because of Obamacare.

I took the letter in to work, and said, “You want me to sign this and send it in, right?” Their money, so I thought I should ask. Ashley said I could do whatever I want, but it might be a good idea to check out the health care exchange first. That sounded like a hassle, but I still had a couple months to send back the letter to my provider if I wanted to keep my current plan, so I decided to try it.

Turns out I could probably do better on the exchange, and I could probably get substantial assistance on my bill as well. I saw several nice looking options on the survey you can see without logging in. Generally, other providers had much better plans than anything offered by the company I’m currently with.

The only trouble is, I can’t get on the site. I set up an account, wrote down the password and everything so I wouldn’t forget anything, but I’ve been totally unable to log on again. If I request a new password, it sends me an email that just takes me back to the screen that asks me if I’d like to change my password. If I try to set up another login, it won’t let me. I tried going on the live chat, but all the person there did was talk in generalities and say she’d report my problem logging in. So there’s no way to get as far as giving them my income, etc., to see what kind of assistance I’d qualify for.

The other possibility is that I’ll qualify for so much assistance they’ll want me to use BadgerCare, which is our state’s public insurance. I’m pretty sure I do qualify for it, too. But it’s been defunded to such an extent that even if you qualify you can’t get in, and our governor turned down federal assistance that would have made it possible to add more people to it. I’m sure it would be a big hassle to apply for it, and if I did (and qualified) I’d probably only get on a mile-long waiting list.

So I’m more confused now that ever, after spending more time dealing with health care insurance than I’ve ever spent in my life. I ended up just signing my current provider’s form anyway.

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