The first year we had health insurance via the ACA, I updated y’all frequently and promised to keep doing so. I realize that’s a promise I didn’t keep. Now that the law’s very existence is threatened, it seems like a good time to share how it’s been going for us in the almost two years since my last post.
I’m listing here for comparison some numbers I just crunched from the three years we have been covered thus far.
- Premiums paid: $3,796.75
- Physician Charges: $41,191.17
- Prescriptions: $9,581.96
- Our portion after insurance: $5,454.47
- Total health care costs: $9,251.22
- Premiums paid: $7,558.68
- Physician Charges: $10,083.20
- Prescriptions: $7,603.03
- Our portion after insurance: $2,668.16
- Total health care costs: $10,226.84
2016 (to date)
- Premiums paid: $7,239.24
- Physician Charges: $16,849.10
- Prescriptions: $6,492.23
- Our portion after insurance: $2,613.13
- Total health care costs: $10,452.37
You will probably notice a couple of things: Our premiums went UP, and our physician charges went DOWN.
Well, it’s no secret that premiums are going up across the land, which many people blame on ObamaCare. Ours would be unaffordable by now if it weren’t for the generous government subsidy we receive thanks to the size of our family vs. the size of our income.
Our physician charges went down because for one thing we didn’t have a major medical issue as we did the first year when Jake required surgery for a severed tendon, and the first year we also all went to the doctor a lot to make up for years of not being able to do so. One of the things that has been driving costs up has been exactly this–people who hadn’t been able to access care, some of them very sick as a result, finally getting the care they need. Presumably some of that will improve as time goes on, as it has for us.
So our experience continues to be positive. We love our doctors. We love that we can still provide insurance for our two adult children who are not in school. We love that whenever anyone is sick we don’t have to worry about paying for or accessing care. We love having regular preventive care and psychological care too. And we love the lack of sticker shock at the pharmacy.
None of that is to say that there aren’t problems that need to be fixed. Because insurance companies now have to cover those who they used to be able to reject, they haven’t been able to make a profit for the past three years. Premiums continue to rise. And Blue Cross has pulled out of Knoxville so we have to find another plan for next year. Any day now I will have to devote a couple of hours to the hell on earth otherwise known as Healthcare.gov–which has only improved marginally since the last time I was there.
Now that I’ve got you all caught up, count on seeing more–a LOT more–on this topic over the next few weeks.
And here’s the rest of our ObamaCare story: