My Obamacare story - in brief | WisCommunity

My Obamacare story - in brief

I feel I really need to say something about this, even though it is by and large a private matter.  I have for several years been on the state-run HIRSP insurance program because I have a chronic (not serious, but chronic) health problem, and have been uninsurable through a private policy.  Since I'm self-employed, I need to insure myself. The HIRSP plan was a godsend for me, since it allowed me to have health insurance and allowed me to have a premium that I could (just barely) afford.  So I was, understandably, a little nervous when HIRSP was dropped at the beginning of the year, in lieu of having us all sign up on the health care exchange.  Change is always a little frightening.

I'll admit it.  Signing up on the health care exchange was at first a nightmare.  It was every bit as bad as everyone was saying, and I finally gave up, figuring it had to get better after a while (even though since it was clearly my only choice, I really wanted to know what was going to happen to my insurance.

Eventually the site did settle down to the point that I actually managed to get signed up for new insurance.  With the federal subsidy, I was paying slightly less for my health insurance, was able to stay with my own health care system and doctor, and actually got a much better insurance policy.  So far this has worked great, and I'm now in a much better position for my prescription costs, and about the same for everything else.

Last week I got an email from the health insurance company saying that my rate was set improperly at the time the insurance was issued, and would be changing.  Panic sets in as I furiously scan the rest of the letter.  Turns out that they set my rate too high, and that what I pay in to the policy was going to drop almost $200 per month. And I would be getting a refund check. This is the first time that I can remember since becoming an entrepreneur that I actually have felt I can genuinely afford my health care costs. It makes a huge difference to my ability to continue to grow my company, hire employees, and to have them earn a living wage.   Yes, this is the effect of Obamacare for my business - the ability to spread some money around in the local economy, and to be able to afford to go to the doctor.  The ACA is not perfect, and I would have hoped for a more genuinely progressive plan.  I know that for some people it's not ideal.  But no matter how many inflammatory emails you send me from the GOP, from AFP, and from other conservative groups, there's no way you are going to make me not a fan of Obamacare.


April 29, 2014 - 1:04pm