I am a single 56-year young woman residing in Hemet, California. I had been teaching middle and high school English for three years until 2009, when I was stricken by osteoporosis, a disease that causes softened bones to break. I was wheelchair bound and unable to continue teaching following my thirteenth fracture.
It was very frightening to fall through the healthcare loopholes that existed prior to Obama Care: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Transitioning from devastating health to normalcy did not occur overnight, but unemployment did prevail. California had laid-off tens of thousands of teachers, beginning in 2008 and continuing, due to the faltering economy, so I could not find another teaching position. I resorted to tutoring and managed to make about $20,000 last year, which is far below a teacher’s salary, but $5,000 above California’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) requirements.
I hope that I can buy a plan that satisfied at minimum these requirements that I established for my health care requirements: Guaranteed coverage, affordability, gynecology, preventative care, hospitalization, prescription discount, and choices of both plans and providers.
I struck gold! After perusing my options at both Healthcare.gov , the national website for information and enrollment, and Coveredca.com , I discovered that my expectations will be fulfilled and that I will enjoy additional benefits that I had not anticipated. The customer representative on the live chat at Healthcare.gov was helpful and courteous, as well. “The Marketplace,” where all Americans enroll for Obama Care, is explained here. The Marketplace provides the single form necessary for enrollment and provides comparisons of the different leveled plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Applicants can also apply for expanded Medicaid at the Marketplace if they qualify.
I learned that the most beneficial plan for me was “Enhanced Silver 87” which was compared with “Bronze 60”. I also learned that I qualified for “Premium Assistance,” which lowers the costs of insurance premiums and “Cost-Sharing Assistance,” which subsidizes health costs at the time of medical care provision. That means I can be covered up to 87% by choosing the Silver plan, compared to only 60% for the Bronze. My tax credit will be the same for any plan that I select: $414. Although the $60/month premiums for Silver are higher than the $1/month Bronze premiums, I will probably opt for the Silver since the deductibles, $500, and the out-of-pocket costs, $2,250/year, are substantially lower than Bronze, with $5,000 deductible, and $6,350 out-of-pocket costs.
All enrollees are entitled to these Essential Health Benefits:
*Emergency room Care
*Preventative and Wellness
*Maternity and newborn
*Substance Abuse Services
All plans vary, providing additional options.
Protective Health Care Law
My mind has been put at ease now that I have read how the new law protects me at Healthcare.gov. I cannot be turned down for preexisting conditions, and my plan cannot be cancelled if I become ill. The lifetime and yearly dollar limits has ended. Overall, I am pleased with the services that the enrollment websites provide through The Marketplace. I have time to narrow down my choice of plans before coverage begins on January 1, 2014, and I can proceed with confidence.