Satisfied and Covered
When I celebrated my 63rd birthday in January, 2015, I found myself without medical insurance and facing at least one surgery for chronic pain. Never before had I been in this predicament as I had always been covered on my husband’s insurance at work or on mine. So, I began searching for an insurance plan that I could afford. Independent insurance very expensive, and there was no way we could pay for it with our income. I initially applied through the Marketplace Health Plans.
I prepared taxes and stopped working in April. My husband was on Medicare with an additional plan that he paid for.
Because my doctor only accepted certain insurance providers, I opted to go with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia and had to apply directly through them. Our family had been covered by this provider before, and we had been very happy with the company.
However, as I could not afford the quoted premium and, even though I did not want to, I applied for the subsidy. Never before had our family ever taken anything from the government that could have been described as “entitlement.” But, I had no choice. Even though, my overall health is good, I knew that I would need surgery eventually for the arthritis and degeneration of my hip and back.
Finally, after years of increasing chronic pain that affected the quality of my life, I decided it was time for surgery. In July, the surgeon replaced my right hip.
Thus far, I have had no complaints with the insurance. The bills have been paid in a timely manner and I knew upfront what I would have to pay. There are questions that concern me, the main one being how will the subsidy be considered at tax time. Will it be considered income? If so, that would be a significant increase to our total income. There are amounts that the insurance did not cover and are my responsibility, but are managing it on our budget.My husband and I are far from being wealthy. I pay $159 each month and my income has been reassessed at least once during this time frame when my tax preparation job ended. It was lowered from $165 to $159.