Post 'em if you’ve got 'em
Here’s a great example of someone who presents as being educated, knowledgeable, and able to make informed decisions, but in fact has very fuzzy reasoning. Here’s what she said:
When Obamacare first came into effect, I was excited to get what I thought would be financial help with my costly medicine and treatments. But when I signed up, my premium came back at an astronomical price, more than my monthly mortgage payment. This happened because I had to declare my husband’s salary as part of our household income, which put me in an earning bracket too high to qualify for any financial assistance. My husband works for a small business, and while he gets paid fairly, his company does not offer spousal insurance. I’m left with a premium of $893, an extremely high cost, due to a combination of my husband’s salary, my age, and my health conditions. I searched for a better option for a long time, but this was the best option I could find. The cost is so high that I can no longer afford the cost of my medicines and treatments on top of the monthly premiums. I wish I could opt out completely, but the penalty for not signing up is much too great.
She had been suffering from a serious medical disorder for over a decade, paying out of pocket for all costs because she lost her full-time law-enforcement job and then her part-time governmental job due the medical problems and her husband works for a smaller company and thus their policy doesn’t cover spouses. She says her age and health conditions were some of the reasons her ACA policy was so high. That isn’t true, by definition. She doesn’t understand what the ACA is at a basic level to make that error.
This suggests to me that she did not accurately fill out the forms for financial assistance to pay the premiums. After all, if $893 is more than she pays for the mortgage, she must be living someplace less expensive than a major city, and as someone with an ACA policy covering an entire family in a major city paying less than that, I would say her claim doesn’t pass the smell test.
The penalty for not having health insurance is a maximum once-yearly fee of $695 (or 2.5% of your income) and there are many exemptions including having high medical costs or other financial strains. So, no, it’s not prohibitively expensive to not have ACA insurance, if it’s actually keeping you from paying your medical bills…again, by definition.
Poor reasoning skills – while thinking she had good reasoning skills – are at fault here, both politically and in her personal situation.
This is also an excellent example of why social workers are important. Sometimes it helps just to have people who know what forms to fill out. (Not that that’s all social workers do.)
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