First off, this is not a political blog post. I am not taking sides nor affiliating with any political party. If you have a comment regarding that, please keep it to yourself. This is just to help those who are struggling to navigate how to get health insurance, especially if they have not had coverage in the past and/or are losing their current coverage.
I felt compelled to write this post because it just strikes me odd that so many of my intelligent friends can’t seem to navigate the ACA. I never considered myself to be super intelligent but I do consider myself to have a great deal of common sense. Hopefully this helps for those of you who are a bit confused.
To begin with, Obamacare is not the name of the new health care law. You cannot sign up for Obamacare. The new health care law is entitled the Affordable Care Act. You cannot sign up for that either. What the law does do is provide opportunity for people to purchase health insurance who otherwise were unable to previously. Why am I clarifying this? Well, according to a recent poll, 57% of Americans were against Obamacare and only 23% of Americans were against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Humph! Gotta scratch my head on this one. Could it be that Americans are simply too easily swayed by the media and various political parties pushing their own agendas? Well, I’ll leave that for you to decide for yourself. In the meantime, know that the ACA has made it possible for you to be covered.
On to the real matter at hand – several of my friends have asked me how I got health insurance (knowing that I have a preexisting condition). They “know they cannot gain access to the Government Exchange website and sign up for Obamacare” because it’s all over the news that the website is nonfunctional. First, let me explain that the website is not to sign up for Obamacare. Obamacare is not health insurance. The website is an exchange where various health insurance providers are listing their options in one place. To my understanding, the idea was to create “one stop shopping” to make it simple for the consumer. Due to an excessive number of glitches, this website backfired. It’s a mess! That still doesn’t preclude you getting insurance. Really, it doesn’t.
The various health insurance options are still available. The consumer, you, needs to go to each company website and look at the various plans. After doing so, determine what’s best for you based on your individual needs. If this endeavor is too daunting, call an insurance agent – that’s what I did. Most, if not all, work on commission paid by the health insurance companies so you don’t pay them anything. They know the various plans and will direct you accordingly, even helping you complete the paperwork.
The ACA is making it possible for people (like me) with preexisting conditions to get health insurance. Is the bill perfect? No, of course not. Remember, Medicare wasn’t perfect either at first but you don’t hear anyone exclaiming, “I hate Medicare!” On the contrary, most people, if not all, are screaming, “Don’t touch my Medicare!”
In the months and years to come, the ACA will be modified for sure. In the meantime, if your current health insurance is changing, call them and ask for an explanation. If you’re losing your current health insurance plan, get help from an agent or contact a health insurance company like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health, Aetna, etc. – just Google ‘health insurance options.’ If you like what you’ve got but aren’t sure you can keep it, call your provider. Everyone I’ve talked to with regard to my old, expiring insurance as well as my new, soon-to-be insurance have been so friendly and helpful. They know you’re confused and they want to help.
Bottom line: no one should have to be without health insurance beginning in 2014. Ask questions, seek help away from the government’s failed website, and get coverage. It really isn’t that difficult to do.
Be Present | Be Purposeful | Be Well