Will I Lose My Health Insurance?

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For some people, the Affordable Care Act is this:  The. Worst. Thing. Ever.  It represents all that’s wrong with this country and is a prime example of government overreach.  For other people, who saw their rates rise because of the Affordable Care Act, it has indeed been a burden. But for many, many people it has been a blessing, allowing them to have affordable health care and to get the treatment they need to stay healthy.

I fall into the third category. My husband retired a year ago, and the only reason he did so was because of the Affordable Care Act. Knowing we could get good insurance at a decent price, we both decided that it would be all right for Clif to retire. And so he did.

For the past year, the Affordable Care Act did exactly what it was supposed to do. It allowed us to purchase insurance at a reasonable rate. It covered my mammogram—very important as I have had breast cancer—our yearly exams, and our medication. We felt secure in the knowledge that if either of us had a stroke or a heart attack, then we could get the care we needed, and we wouldn’t have to worry about going into bankruptcy or losing our house.

This year, Clif turned sixty-five and went on Medicare, which turned out to be a little more expensive than what were paying through the Affordable Care Act. But it was still within what our modest budget could afford.

Oh, what a difference a day can make! On Tuesday, Donald J. Trump was elected president, and during the long campaign, he repeatedly stated that repealing the Affordable Care Act was his number one priority. Whenever he proclaimed this, the crowds cheered in approval.

If Trump is to be taken at his word, then I just might lose my current health insurance.  For an extra five or six hundred dollars a month, I could probably purchase catastrophic health insurance that would cover nothing but hospital costs should I have the aforementioned stroke or heart attack. However, simply put, we cannot afford the extra five or six hundred a month, no matter how frugal we are. Then there would be the extra cost of mammograms, physicals, etc.

Am I worried? You bet I am. Will President Trump  effectively end affordable health insurance for millions of people? Time will tell.

Sigh.

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25 thoughts on “Will I Lose My Health Insurance?”

  1. My husband and I both are self employed, Laurie – so I am passionate about this issue. For years we paid $12,000 per year for that “catastrophic” insurance for our children and ourselves. We got nothing out of it – Every doctor visit, every mammogram, every biopsy – we paid full price for. The insurance would only have kicked in after we spent $5000 – PER PERSON – and then it paid 80%. We are thankful we never needed it. We felt we’d be bad parents to leave our children uninsured – so we paid that money but I resented every penny. I really hope we don’t go back to those days. I do feel hopeful after today, seeing how our President and our President-Elect conducted themselves. I like to see people getting along and I am an optimist. I love my country and I will support my President.

  2. I have many thoughts on health care costs, and I do not think the ACA is to blame. I am a victim of the ACA as we are just above the income to qualify. This year I have seen savings earmarked for other things quickly dwindle. It is scary. But abolishing the ACA is not the answer. Even more scary is the fact that Trump does not seem to have a plan for what he will do in its place. In Maine our governor refused federal money to cover the poorest of the poor – ie the sickest – who were left with no insurance. Another factor is cost shifting and waste in American health care. Finally there is greed in the insurance industry. We need economists, medical personal, ethicists, as well as politicians to work together to find an answer that will benefit all.

    1. Great points, Beth! Sorry I forgot to include the group of people who make too much to qualify yet not quite enough to comfortably afford the payments.

  3. Oh my goodness, I’m wishing you well. It is hard for Canadians to imagine that stress. We pay more (perhaps?) in taxes while we are in our working years, but we don’t have to live in financial fear of what will happen if our health fails. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. Take good care, friend.

    1. Thanks so much, Carina. I think higher taxes are more than worth it if everyone receives good health care. As I mentioned in another comment, if I could move to Canada, then I would. What a relief it would be to live in a country that cares for all people, not just the very rich.

  4. Oh, Laurie. I woke at 2:45 last night and (once I realized that reality was not a nightmare) lay sleepless ticking off the parade of horribles that are staring us down in the coming months and years. I have never felt anything like such fear of the future. And I kept thinking, if I feel this way, how must people who are clearly, directly at risk feel? No one in this country–ever–should have to worry about if they can afford health care. In the wake of this election, I’m seeing a lot of sentiment that we must love one another and be kind. I’m not sure that kindness is the solution here. Maybe a little healthy anger would serve us better. I fear I may become one of those militant, strident, gray-haired grannies, with nothing to lose but our world as we know and love it.

    1. Brenda, I know just how you feel. I’ve actually been sick to my stomach over worry for both myself and the country. I agree with you that Kindness is necessary but not sufficient. Now, all we can do is what and see what he will do. And then take to the streets?

  5. Laurie,I’m sorry to hear this. It always hits harder when someone you know is affected, and I can see how badly you and your husband will be affected if your health care costs go up a lot.
    I’m glad, however, that you gave a specific reason why Trump’s win worries you. (He is a man of very poor character, but pointing that out didn’t prevent millions from voting for him…. or help them realize that some of them will likely lose their affordable health care too.)

  6. Very sorry to hear about the situation you are in. Let’s hope Trump finds it harder to fulfill these promises than he imagined. One of my sons relies on the ACA for his insurance. And I fear that if I lose my job, I will be uninsurable, as I have several pre-existing conditions. I had also thought about starting my own business, but that is now impossible because I would not be able to access health insurance.

    1. Thanks, Jason. Your story illustrates how lack of affordable health care holds people back. My husband has some software-development peers in Canada, who were able to start their own businesses because they didn’t have to worry about the cost of health care. When will this country learn?

  7. Upsetting read. Living in U.K. it’s been hard to grasp what this is all about. Now That I have a bit of understanding, I really feel for you and Cliff and all those similarly affected.
    In U.K. our National health Service is struggling to cope with ever-increasing demands, making it s big political issue.

    1. Health care is expensive. It is also essential. It seems to me that we just have to accept those two facts and figure out how to pay for it so that everyone has good health care. In the U.S. it feels as though we have just taken three steps back. Right now, my only hope is that President Trump will think twice before pushing 20 million people off health insurance. We shall see. Finally, thanks so much for the kind words.

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