As of January 1, I have health insurance. Sounds great, right? Here I am at the age of 64 with the ability to have needed tests and procedures to diagnose a problem I have and get it taken care of. Except for a couple of small details. Or maybe details which turn out to be not so small.
The insurance company has sent me a card, and a booklet explaining my responsibilities under the plan. What they haven't sent me is the booklet which lists plan providers that I am limited to. Also? Doctors I know who accept this plan, aren't taking any new patients. Those who are accepting new patients are ones I wouldn't let touch me with a 10 foot pole. Trust me, I know which doctors are good here and which aren't. You find that out in my line of business.
So, for the next 9 months I won't be doing anything except seeing the doctor I've been seeing who tries her best to help me without sending me for the expensive tests I can't afford. She was hoping I'd get ahead of the curve with the ACA so that her suspicions can be confirmed. At this point we're guessing, but the treatment she started has helped so she may be on target. I won't die from it if she's wrong. In 9 months I'm Medicare eligible which may be the step needed to put me ahead. We'll see.
Another thing. With the $1.65 per hour raise I got, I may find myself over income limit and no longer qualify for medicaid. Yes, I qualified for medicaid at 109% of poverty level. According to statistics 40% of the working population make less than $20,000 a year, 53% make less than $30,000, and 73% make less than $50,000 a year. It's nice to know we weren't as unsuccessful as we thought we were. While I may be in the 40% right now, we used to be in the 73%, 14 years ago. Those were 2012 statistics, I imagine the 2013 stats will be worse.
If I can keep the physical condition I'm in now and grab 6 more hours a week, I'll at least be able to retire after reaching the 53% category. I can't retire at full benefit until I'm 66 so that does give me time. Now I just need my joints to hold out. Always something, right?