Signing up for Obamacare: My Experience
Signing up for Obamacare on HealthCare.gov during their Special Enrollment Period was a big part of what made quitting my job possible. (Open enrollment for 2015 starts November 15, but I didn’t need to wait for that because I met the qualifying event rules.)
Applying for coverage
I was a little nervous about applying for coverage after all the crap I’d heard on the news last year, but seriously? It was the easiest insurance enrollment I’ve ever done.
I just had to create an account, answer a few questions that showed I qualified for the special enrollment period, and pick a plan. That was it.
The plan I picked has better coverage and costs less overall than what I’d had through my job. All I had to do next was call up the insurance company and pay my premium.
What a contrast
I really couldn’t get over the difference between getting health insurance on the marketplace, and what getting coverage used to be like for me.
No paying a fortune to have crappy coverage and a $10,000 deductible from a carrier I’d never heard of before the one time I was able to get private health insurance. No paying more because I am a woman. No spending hours giving an insurance broker 10 years of my medical history, and then being denied coverage for private insurance due to a pre-existing condition. No being stuck with choosing the best plan I could afford from work out of the limited options that were first chosen for me, and then having that plan not cover even part of my medications until I’d paid out the entire deductible.
Instead, I got to pick the plan that fit best from a lot of options.
Your mileage may vary
Of course, I don’t know what your past and present experiences with insurance are like or what the healthcare marketplace choices are in your state, so your mileage may vary.
But I will give one tip: Take a look at ALL of the plans available in your area. (Don’t just choose one level and look through the options within that level.) Some of the silver and gold plans in my area were significantly better than the bronze plans for very little price difference. The levels appear to be based on what they cover, not how much the plans cost.
When looking through the plans, make sure the one you choose is going to work for your individual situation. (My husband and I got separate plans for that very reason.) Focus on what the plans you’re interested in will cover for what you’ll pay, and don’t forget to take the potential impact of having to pay the deductible into consideration.