My Obamacare Experience
I’ve been waiting for national healthcare for a long time. I’ve been self-employed for my entire adult life, which means I’ve been stuck with insurance plans that paled in comparison to those enjoyed by friends and family who worked for major corporations. I’ve never had dental or eye care. And the last 10 years, my premiums have been skyrocketing.
So I was all in favor of some kind of national health insurance plan, and even though “Obamacare” wasn’t the single-payer ideal I’d always hoped for, I cheered the passing of the ACA — with guarded optimism. Then I waited for four years for the marketplace to open up, all the while hoping the new law didn’t get repealed, ruled unconstitutional, or end up in a political body bag.
Then, the rollout started last month and… you know the rest. Like many Americans, I tried logging onto healthcare.gov, only to find a crashed site or an error message. Then, when my friends received a cancellation notice from their insurance company, I really started to sweat. Was I taken in by a false promise? Were we all?
Then, last week, I decided to give it another shot. I pointed my browser to healthcare.gov and, lo and behold, everything seemed to be working fine. And not only fine, but really, really well! The site was easy to use, well-designed, and intuitive. I kept waiting for a freeze-up or glitch, but it chugged right along! For over an hour, I browsed plans, set up an account with all my info, compared benefits, searched doctors, and ultimately flagged one plan that seemed to be good for me and my wife.
Today, I logged back in to complete the process, quickly navigated my way right back to where I left off, I called up the saved plan from among my “favorites,” and enrolled.
The bottom line?: Our premiums will go DOWN by over $700 a month for a policy that is nearly identical to the one I had. AND, I could enroll in dental and eye care plans, too and still be paying less than I was. The policy will kick in on January 1st and, who knows? Some other shoe may drop between now and then, but for right now, I am one very satisfied customer.
Never a glitch, freeze or hiccup. And when I had a question, I clicked on the “live chat” button and actually interacted with what I could tell was a live human being. I design web sites and this one—seriously, I’m not kidding—is really well done. I can only guess they were completely unprepared for the amount of traffic. I will caution you that they require a LOT of info, some of which will make you roll your eyes (Do I swear that I’m not currently incarcerated?), but that’s really the only negative.
If this thing isn’t smothered in the cradle, I’m guessing it’s going to become as popular as Social Security.