It’s been a couple of months since my last update, and things have been happening (and also some things have not been happening, as you will see!).
When I updated you last, I was complaining about the bureaucratic elements (mess) involved in Obamacare, AKA The Affordable Care Act, despite my overall satisfaction. We were waiting to get a letter notifying us of our official hearing on the appeal I filed to try to get Teddy, William, and Lorelei covered. Well, I am still waiting. I have never received a letter or a call or ANYTHING.
However, I also told you that I was going to have to submit another huge batch of financial information, and proof of citizenship, and I don’t know what all else. So I got that all together and went to upload it to the (still very user unfriendly and prone to crash) website, and could not for the life of me figure out where to upload the documents. Last time I think I just mailed them. So I called the help line.
This is the first bright spot of Healthcare.gov, and I want to reiterate it: The people who staff the help line are efficient, courteous, and knowledgeable, and there are no ridiculous hold times such I have experienced with, for example, TennCare (40 minutes or more). This guy was quickly able to tell me how to upload the documents, and also said that he thought from looking at my account that it was a mistake anyway. I wasn’t taking any chances, of course, so I did upload them, and thought I would also take a moment to ask him is he knew anything about my appeal.
Naturally, another department handles that, but he told me if I wanted we could reapply right then for the rest of the family, and that if we were successful, they could be covered by the first of the next month, and that the deductible we’d already met would apply for them as well. He did it for me while I stayed on the line and supplied the information, and lo and behold, one hour later, everyone in our family was on the way to being insured!
He also put in a request to make it all retroactive to my original application date. They’ve since denied that and I am getting ready to file yet another appeal.
Our premium did go up as a result of the addition of three people. We are now paying $411/month, which I am quite sure is still pretty darn low.
What have we been doing with all this awesome health insurance?
Emily, William, Lorelei, and Teddy have all gotten checkups now and have been pronounced in good health. William and Lorelei both got some immunizations, and Lorelei had several icky warts frozen off (she was very brave!). John and I both saw the dermatologist. Y’all, I have been dreading that checkup for years. Skin cancer runs in my family and I was sure I would hear some awful news. Instead, the doctor told me I have relatively light sun damage and she doesn’t think I have anything to worry about! (I celebrated by coming home and laying out in the sun. Just kidding. Sort of.) Teddy and I visited the chiropractor yesterday. Now if you know anything about chiropractic you know it usually takes at least a couple of visits to straighten out whatever brings you there (sciatica, in my case). So in the past, as a self-paying patient, I would usually try to get by with one visit. But with a co-pay of $8, I think I’m going back Monday.
Now you know that as a result of all this care and support, John and I have both made some significant dietary changes. John has now lost 20 lbs., and I’ve lost approximately 40. He had his blood drawn last week and will find out on Monday whether his numbers have improved along with his weight. I won’t have another checkup till October some time, but I can tell you that I feel great, have lots of energy, and can walk four miles up and down hills on a summer day without dropping dead.
I wrote a post on my five favorite low carb things to eat a couple of weeks ago and y’all, the page views on that post went out the roof! So I expect people might be interested in hearing in a little more detail about some of the dietary changes I’ve made, and I’m planning a post on that next week probably. But for now let me just share one amazing change that I am incredibly proud of: I now drink my coffee with NO SUGAR AT ALL. Only cream. And anyone who ever saw me drink coffee before will know how huge that is!
If you would like to read all about our healthcare triumphs and travails, please see below: