Wisconsin woman who couldn’t get insurance without Obamacare urges everyone to remember who supported the law on Election Day.
Jenell Larson is a healthy 61-year-old woman who could not buy insurance at any price due to a single illness in her 30s — an illness that was treated successfully. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, she didn’t have to go a single day without insurance when her COBRA coverage ran out.
Larson had cerebral aneurysms in her 30s, and neurosurgery repaired the problem. Even though her doctors told her she would be just fine, no insurance company would cover her.
I’d been paying $1,100 a month on my COBRA, which was a lot of money. But even at that price — even though I’m cured — private insurance companies wouldn’t touch me. I tried everywhere.
The ACA couldn’t have come at a better time. Larson was able to get insurance that started January 1, 2014 — the day after her COBRA ran out. She pays $700 a month, but her plan gives her a lot of bang for the buck.
Larson’s coverage pays 90% of her insurance costs, with a $3,000 deductible and a $4,000 out-of-pocket in-network maximum per year. She has no co-pay for doctor’s visits — she pays absolutely nothing extra to see her doctors. Most of her prescriptions are about $5 per refill based on the percentage she pays.
“I chose this plan because of what it covered — including all my doctors, and the best facility in Wisconsin, at the University of Wisconsin,” she says. “Without the ACA, I wouldn’t even be insured now.”
In the first year, she’s seen first-hand how important it is to have insurance. After an episode of early-stage non-invasive breast cancer, regular follow-up mammograms are important — and she gets them at no extra charge, like every woman her age. She also had some shortness of breath while out cycling this year, which fortunately turned out to be nothing to worry about. She didn’t have to worry about the bill, either, because all the tests were covered except for her co-pay.
She urges people to take advantage of Healthcare.gov to enroll starting November 15th. She found it very easy to use after the initial glitches were fixed.
And Larson wants to thank President Obama and the Democrats for making the ACA happen.
I hope people will think about which party gave them the ACA. So many people are being helped by it and don’t even realize that if the Republicans have been in office, they wouldn’t have the benefits of the ACA. Maybe they ought to think about that come Election Day.
[Photo courtesy of Jenell Larson.]