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My Obamacare, the good, the bad and the ugly


(You may not have heard from me recently because I've had a few surgeries). Here is the story.

First off, I never expected I would want, need, or even consider being on the Affordable Health Care Plan. I didn’t particularly care one way or other because it seemed like it was only for people who were lazy and couldn’t find a job, or for people who never had insurance ever before and needed it.

Secondly, I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 2000while I was on Kaiser Permanente Health Maintenance Organization, and I have been paying on my own for insurance through that plan for nearly 30 years. Even while gainfully employed, I was double-insured with my work paying for insurance (and taking a portion out of my paycheck) as well as paying out-of-pocket for my own insurance.

I was told more than once by Kaiser officials that were I to drop my own private insurance payment plan and then lose my job, they would never put me back on the Kaiser program—solely because I have MS.

One searing memory I have from a Member Services rep said, “Honey, we’re waiting for you to miss a payment because we’d never take you back.” She was trying to joke, but I wasn’t laughing.

My diagnosis would prevent me from ever having my own insurance ever again, anywhere. So, for a few decades I was double-insuring and my monthly premiums were usually more than $1,000 (and that's just for me). To me, that was a deal. My MS medications were often $250 a bottle or more. My weekly injections were more than $800 each, and now my monthly infusions could cost an average person more than $10,000 if they had to pay it on their own.

I was thankful for any kind of insurance, I had a job, and I figured I was getting a good deal.

Then, in October, I lost my job at Studio City Patch when AOL unceremoniously booted out more than 500 employees all at once. I thought I’d land something pretty quickly, but it turns out that it’s getting harder and harder to find someone to pay for you to write anymore. I still don’t have a fulltime job.

And, my insurance premium was going up $80 a month and is now up to $628 a month.

I was suddenly considering Obamacare for the first time. The trouble is, when I began checking into it, no one could tell me if the infusion medication (which is the only medication that is now working for me) for my MS would be covered by Kaiser under that program. I was getting mixed messages from every person I talked to.


Read the rest here: http://www.examiner.com/article/my-obamacare-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly#sthash.4iE1Dvmk.dpuf

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