I Should Thank the President

We are solid citizens again, with health insurance in place for the first time since May 1, 2009. Last November, I shared about “My Uninsured Life“. Now that circumstances changed, update is warranted, even if brief. Our coverage started as of Midnight today. We are among those Americans subsidized through Obamacare.

Our monthly family premium is a paltry $101 and some change per month for HMO plan with $500 annual individual deductible. The subsidy rewards the insurer with another $1,100 during the same time period. Someone please explain to me how such a gap doesn’t somehow reflect increased healthcare costs. What the frak? 

Previously, we didn’t qualify for a subsidy for reasons pointless to explain except for this: In late May, I quite accidentally learned there was a glitch in my application through Covered California. On June 1, I called the agency and, sure enough, the mistake was easily identified—and since we originally applied before the February 15 deadline, our application could proceed even though open enrollment is months away.

Here we are then. The process proceeded surprisingly smoothly. The insurer is helpful, proactive, and provides an excellent self-serve portal. The real measure will be healthcare. Even when the family had employee-provided insurance, we visited doctors sparingly. I need to see a retina specialist for lingering problems with my right eye, but otherwise everyone is healthy. For us, insurance is more about the unexpected care need, such as an accident.

There is a sense of relief knowing insurance is there if needed. Is that well-being worth $1,300 to the insurer, even if only $101 and some from me? I wonder.