Affordable Care Act Insurance
Posted: March 14, 2014
Back in October, I wrote an editorial about my attempt to obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and its web site: HealthCare.gov. At the time, I began the application process and got through the security portion of the program, but never signed up for a specific plan. However, this week, with the March 31st deadline looming, I decided to spend the necessary time to complete the process.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to sign up for the program. Since I have not had health insurance the past four years because it was too expensive, I was not sure what I was getting myself into. But after spending less than 45 minutes online to complete the application, I had a number of options to select the right health plan for me.
The only negative aspect to the Affordable Care Act for me is that the plan I signed up for does not cover most of my current health care practitioners. But the positive outweighs the negative since all of my prescription medications are covered for five dollars per refill and my out-of-pocket expense is no more than $500. In addition, instead of having a $730 monthly fee for major medical insurance with a $4,500 deductible that I had four years ago, I now have a $250 deductible that also covers chiropractic care.
I am hoping that my switch to new physicians will not be a negative experience. The plan I signed up for this week, under Security Health Plan of Marshfield, means that I can only visit doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital and Marshfield Clinic. Since I don't do a lot of doctoring, I am betting that physicians employed by these companies are just as capable as the doctors I have seen a few times over the past three years.
The most rewarding thing about applying for health insurance through HealthCare.gov was that it did not take as long as I thought it would. I was anticipating that the web site would possibly encounter problems and that I would be on the phone with insurance specialists for an hour. On the contrary, I was only on the phone with a Security Health Plan representative for about 10 minutes and I signed up for the program that fit me best.
Who would have thought a government-run program would work so well?
RANDOM THOUGHT: I read three weeks ago that Facebook purchased WhatsApp, a company with $20 million in sales and 55 employees, for $19 billion. WhatsApp, a five-year-old mobile messaging service that specializes in unlimited and quick text messaging, is worth more than ConAgra, a long-standing firm with a market capitalization of more than $12.2 billion. It never ceases to amaze me that Silicon Valley values start-ups more than the rest of the ordinary business world.