Obamacare not a nightmare

I was listening to the news Wednesday morning and the discussion regarding consumer confidence and shopping for the holidays and the effect on both of the rough Obamacare rollout.

What I was hearing was that the Obamacare rollout was so bad that consumers were not going to want to shop this Christmas season and it could/would create a drag on the economy.

I thought of my own family situation (three grown children with families of their own) and the employees that I have at our law firm and the apparent disconnect that people are feeling with the need to do something, but not knowing what to do about health insurance.

People hear that the Obamacare website isn’t working. But instead of trying to enroll on the website themselves, they do nothing and then laugh with others about how bad the program is. As they do nothing, the deadline to enroll continues to draw closer, creating that feeling we all get in our stomachs when we know we need to do something, but don’t know what to do.

Obamacare is a health insurance program. It is not a website.

When we understood that the website to enroll in health insurance is not working, we contacted a local agent to help us enroll. Tuesday, after only two meetings, we enrolled in a health insurance plan that will be hundreds of dollars cheaper each month than our previous plan, will have lower deductibles, and a much, much lower maximum out-of-pocket expense than our current plan.

I couldn’t be happier. I then opened up the agent to all of our employees as well, and all of our employees are either insured, or well on their way to being insured. All will be done well in advance of any deadline.

I am a cancer survivor. Currently, it appears we’ve just successfully fought of a recurrence of the cancer I first contracted in 2007. My wife had a bout with skin cancer, which is also now taken care of.

I have a son whose very young daughter had a health condition, which will require further work in the future to fix a problem she had at birth. In addition to future surgery, she will need speech therapies and other work to get her up to speed with her peers.

Before Obamacare, I was unable to shop for any other company other than the one I had in 2007 when I first was diagnosed with lymphoma. Our family premiums would go up each year 20-30 percent. My maximum out-ofpocket medical would change and increase each year. My deductibles would change and go up each year. None of which I had any control over. I had no choice whatsoever.

This next year, I would have been paying more than $1,000 each month in premium, looking at $6,000 as a deductible that I would have to meet twice, before the insurance company I had had to chip in a dime.

The insurance company was free to change my plan at will and did. It was madness. But I was stuck. No choice but to go uninsured, or pay very high premiums for very little protection.

Obamacare has changed that. Now I can get a reasonable premium hundreds of dollars less each month than I was paying before, keep my same doctors, and limit my out-of-pocket exposure to one-third of what it was before.

My son is able to lower his premium costs, and have his daughter insured with his family instead of on Medicaid.

Obamacare is not a nightmare. It is a Godsend. It brings some sanity back into the healthcare system. If you cannot enroll through a website, contact an agent that sells health insurance for different companies. The premium does not increase as a result of using an agent over a website. Independent agents can work for several companies so I would recommend that that is the route you pursue so they can shop different companies for you.

People need to take their head out of sand and help themselves. There are people who will assist if they cannot use the website. Just pick up the phone.

Chris A. Johnson

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