This morning my phone rang only minutes after I woke up. It was a pleasant-sounding fellow—Kevin—calling from Pennsylvania. “Have you heard back on the status of your Affordable Care Act application?” Kevin asked me. After taking a moment to verify that Kevin was, in fact, an employee of the federal government and not some shyster looking to sell me snake oil, I replied in the affirmative. Yes, I told Kevin. I have heard back. And I’ve been using my insurance.
And it’s glorious.
I head to the doctor, I pay $30, I get excellent treatment. Every month a bill comes from Blue Cross Blue Shield. It’s reasonable. I write a check, pop it in the mail, and continue with the peace of mind that comes from having inexpensive, reliable, and comprehensive medical insurance.
I am one of more than 200,000 North Carolina residents who have signed up for a personal health insurance plan through Healthcare.gov. Although the site was plagued with trouble last fall, by most reports signing up is now simple and glitch-free. But as with all good things, enrollment in Obamacare must come to an end—at least temporarily. March 31st is the last day to sign up for ACA insurance until open enrollment begins again this November.
Previous to the rollout of Obamacare, nearly 20% of North Carolinians were uninsured. Those numbers are even higher among women, even women with jobs. If you lack health insurance, or have inadequate insurance and have been on the fence about whether or not to enroll in ACA insurance, let me give you the nudge. In my experience, ACA coverage is affordable, dependable, and has been a lifesaver for me and my family.
Subsidies are available for families making up to $94,000 a year. Even without a subsidy, my new ACA insurance plan is far more comprehensive and yet less expensive than when I was paying privately. And I still get to stick with BCBS!
For the cost of a monthly cell phone bill, you can stay safe and healthy. That’s seriously amazing, y’all. I’m someone who has used the Emergency Room as my primary care doc in the past, and I feel relieved knowing that whether I get strep throat, E. Coli, or just general malaise, I only have to pay my copay.
So go ahead and sign up. Or at least register on healthcare.gov and see what’s available for you. Make sure you get in this week, before you have to wait an agonizing nine months for the next open enrollment period. You won’t need any health records since prior conditions don’t matter, and the only information you’ll need to provide is your date of birth, address, and your smoking status.
And, hey, if you get Kevin on the phone, be sure to tell him that I sent you, and that I said he had lovely phone manners.