Seeing other people’s success stories convinced her to look into getting covered — and she’s glad she did.
UPDATED. See below.
When health insurance became available through Healthcare.gov last year, Theresa had her doubts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a fiercely independent small business owner — and a Republican — the only news she saw about Obamacare was negative.
Most of my friends were so anti-Obamacare, and based on my past experiences trying to buy insurance on my own I thought I couldn’t afford it. I thought Obamacare was like making a homeless man buy a house.
But then I started reading the stories about how much money people were saving and I decided to dig into it.
Theresa says she’s grateful she didn’t listen to the people who told her Obamacare was “bullsh*t.” Through Healthcare.gov, she found a Silver plan for just $94 per month, with the help of tax credits.
The Michigander says it’s a huge relief after having been uninsured for 10 years. She had to give up her coverage when the individual policy she had went up in price to nearly $500 per month. She haggled with her primary doctors to get check-ups but often wouldn’t let them run blood tests or get follow-up care because it was too expensive.
About six years ago, Theresa had polyps on her vocal cords and her doctor told her if she didn’t have surgery she could choke on them or bleed to death. Plus, there was a chance the polyps could turn cancerous. Theresa didn’t have a choice, but without insurance her surgeons demanded payment in advance. She says the surgery and subsequent care cost her “tens of thousands of dollars.”
I maxxed out two credit cards and owed money to everybody and their brother. Eventually I had to declare personal bankruptcy. That really kicked me in the butt and now my credit is shot.
Fortunately, starting in January 2015 Theresa will have health insurance that’s accepted by all her doctors, with a $700 annual deductible and $1,450 out-of-pocket maximum limit. It will cost her just a $20 co-pay to see her primary physician and $50 to see a specialist. She can’t wait to schedule all her check-ups, including the necessary follow-up on the remaining polyps she couldn’t afford to have removed.
I was supposed to have them checked out every so often and haven’t been able to. Now I can schedule my routine mammogram, my annual physical and everything else I need without having it cost a million dollars. I got awesome coverage, and my opinion of Obamacare has changed completely.
Open enrollment for 2015 continues through February 2015. Visit Healthcare.gov to find your awesome coverage today.
UPDATE: I wrote the following in reply to some comments below, but am posting it here to make sure it’s seen by every reader: I think it should be noted that Theresa’s initial doubts about the ACA weren’t due to selfishness, but simply a lack of awareness. She is open-minded enough to read Eclectablog and to share her story, which shows her willingness to think for herself. Let’s applaud that and remember that all Republicans aren’t cut from the same cloth. When I thanked her and sent her a link to the post she said, “I hope my story helps others.”
UPDATE 2 – Theresa responds: Theresa read this post and the comments and asked me to post a response on her behalf. It’s an important reminder that more open-mindedness is needed on both sides of the aisle. Here’s what she said: “All Republicans are not bad people. My best friend in the world is gay. If stem cell research will help people, let’s do it! Different views make the world go around.”