Despite leaving an important detail unresolved, we now have Obamacare coverage. Kentucky still thinks Kat will work all of 2014 at Amazon, which hammers down our subsidy and knocks us out of the magic income zone in which Silver plans are transmuted into Gold. We will have coverage only for emergencies, accidents, mail-order prescription drugs, and limited out of network medical help in the other 49 states. It takes some work, but we have the option of changing states at any time (pursuant to the old Life-Changing Event clause in medical insurance, which apparently has carried over.) This happened at 8:30 p.m. on December 23, the last day to get coverage to become effective January 1. We owe thanks to a Kentucky Navigator, one of the two people I’ve talked to or chatted with on-line (out of maybe 40) since October 1 who seemed to have a knack for problem-solving.
Earl R turned me on to a non-profit plan at the Silver level (Silver means the plan has everything you need, plus subsidy and plus the lowered co-pays and deductibles When They Finally Get Our Income Right.) In other words, Kat and Jackson will have good medical insurance next week. Earl even has a plan to get Kentucky to correct their error in estimating our income. Another wonderful aspect of this Christmas Miracle is that perhaps because the policy is written by a non-profit organization, its unsubsidized premium is $450 a month below the $1,430 of a very comparable Blue Cross plan.
Bottom line: after our subsidy, even at an erroneously exalted income level, our net premium will be zero.
I will go on Medicare in May, and everybody seems to love that program. For four years Kat has paid Blue Cross $207 a month for catastrophic coverage that has not paid a penny, nor earned any discounts, on her $500 strep throat treatment, her $400 broken glass in the heel removal, nor anything on a bunch of chiropractor visits. This plan would pay in full on the first two, and will probably pay in full on the chiropractor if she hires one in Kentucky. I’ll have pretty good coverage until Medicare, whereas I now have no insurance of any kind.
We all has our worries now and then, but try being a cancer survivor with no medical insurance. Many of mine just took that Midnight Train to Georgia.
If you don’t have good medical insurance through work, sign up for it under an ACA program. Get a Navigator to help you: a good one can make a big difference.
Do it: you will have a happier New Year.