H is Happy with Health Insurance Six Months into Obamacare

H is Happy with Health Insurance Six Months into Obamacare
Personal Finance from A to Z
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

So far, so good – We’ve had no major issues with our Marketplace insurance policy. In a prior blog post, I commented on how customer service was a mess and paying wasn’t so easy anymore.

  • We still have to wait over an hour to speak to customer service.
  • But it has gotten easier to pay our monthly premium – We can use our credit card with no extra charges.
  • It took a bit of persistence on our part, but we now have paperless billing – They still keep sending our bill in the mail as well.

There really hasn’t been any difference on our end when it comes to getting prescriptions (RX) filled and paying for routine doctor visits.

  • One of our RX is now free, and the other went from $4 to $10 per month.
  • We have the same co-pay for in-network specialists.

I do have issues with the quality of health care in my community, but these issues were in place long before Obamacare was implemented. Living in a small town, it’s hard to find specialized care. We can get basic preventative care, but we have few specialists.

  • For many medical specialties, we have just 1 or 2 doctors (if we are lucky). Most of them are over the age of 55.
  • The medical center has been buying up many of the local practices, creating a monopoly for medical services. You pay what they tell you to pay.

As I write this column, my husband is preparing for outpatient surgery at a major hospital 90 minutes from our home. The hospital is out-of-network, but it does not bother me to pay a little more ($3,000 maximum out-of-pocket vs. $1,500 for in-network). To be honest, I’m relieved he is having the surgery there.  There wasn’t a specialist in my community qualified to do the surgery.

As the bills for his surgery start coming in, I will get a better sense of how well our Marketplace insurance policy is meeting our needs. I’ll keep you posted.