Well, after this morning’s downpour and gusty winds, there came a break in the clouds and some blue sky and sunshine appeared. Ozzie and I high-tailed it out the door and got in a decent walk. A little shorter than normal, but it started clouding up again and I wasn’t really in the mood to get soaked. The walk provided another break in my own personal clouds. While quilting away and thinking about the problems I’m having with being billed for past medical expenses, I began having a bit of a panic attack. Pounding chest, feeling a bit short of breath, and just feeling plain panicky and miserable. Turns out the walk was a really good cure for it all. And yes, I do know that I sometimes suffer from panic attacks, I don’t have heart disease, and I knew I was not having a heart attack. I feel a whole lot better after getting in a good walk with my buddy.
I don’t want to start a riot here, but if you’d like to share some civil ideas on the subject, I’ll entertain approving the comments. Is there anyone who is looking forward to the Affordable Care Act (dubbed Obamacare) besides me? I can understand most folks not wanting the government intruding into their lives and forcing them to do anything, and I’m sure there are parts of this law that really need tweaking, but can I tell you a little bit about how it will affect me?
I currently have health insurance. It is state employees retiree insurance. Because I worked for the state for over 30 years, I receive a subsidy that pays for part of my insurance. For 30 year retirees, it’s supposed to be almost half. The insurance currently costs me $461/month and it sucks (even though it must be a nearly $900/month plan if I’m paying $461). Sure, doctor’s visits are only $20, but from there you’re on your own. Most of my health issues stem from the bariatric surgery I had while covered under regular state employees insurance. They don’t cover anything to do with bariatric surgery after you retire. In fact, since I’ve had an issue and my surgeon recommended revising my surgery and submitted it as medically necessary, they’ve begun to go back through all my records since I retired and are ruling many things as bariatric related. They are denying things from February of 2012 now (over a year and a half later), and I am getting billed for those things. I am not happy. I have been looking at the plans available in Oregon under the Affordable Care Act and, while most of them probably don’t cover bariatrics, I think many of them are better than what I have now. Sure the co-pay to see the doctor may be a little higher, but the premium I would be paying is $130/month less than what I’m paying now. I think I could find the extra $15 for an entire year’s copays in one month alone! The deductibles are a bit high, but I’ve been advised that the deductible on my current insurance is rising in line with these policies. Most of my medical expenses are medications. Sure thyroid hormone is inexpensive, but the array of allergy preparations I get and migraine meds are horribly expensive. My current insurance will pay only 40% next year for meds. Most of the CoverOregon plans have $10 copays for generics and $50 for preferred meds, and the prescription coverage kicks in before the deductible is met.
No one wants to do something that someone tells them they have to do, especially if it costs them money. However, we do have to have car insurance to drive a car. If you buy a house and take out a mortgage, your mortgage company will make you insure the house in case it burns down or blows away in a hurricane. Life is rough sometimes. Shouldn’t we be insuring the shell we carry around with us all day, every day? These are just my thoughts. You may think I’m silly for thinking this way, but please don’t yell horrible things at me just because this is my belief. Have any of you checked out the policies in your area? I haven’t had time to check them all out yet, but I’m hopeful. What do you think?