Un-Affordable Health Care Act and a Gardener

The Un-Affordable Health Care Act and a Gardener

Un-affordable Health Care Act copy


Before I begin this post let me apologize to my regular readers for varying so much from my regular gardening, urban homesteading and DIY posts. But something arrived in the mail this week that I have been stewing on for days and I just can’t keep quiet about it any more!!  This is after all a gardening blog so it’s not often I delve into politics.  I will admit I’m a little nervous to post this.  But I think the discussion will be beneficial to anyone striving for self sufficiency.

I am self employed.  Health Insurance is 100% my responsibility!  It has been for 15 years.  5 years ago the costs of a “traditional” health insurance plan became to expensive for us to pay so we had to switch to a high deductible plan with a Health Savings Account.

A high deductible plan basically means we are covered if something MAJOR happens, cancer, heart problems, a major accident.  We also get one visit to the doctor each year as preventive care for free.

Beyond that ANY TIME that we go to the doctor, we pay 100% and it applies to our $3000 per person deductible.  When we signed up for this plan it cost us right around $500 per month.  But that was way better than the $1200 we were going to have to pay. The $700 savings each month more than covered the few doctor visits we had to make each year.

Flash forward 5 years to this week.  We received a notice from our insurance company (that pays for almost nothing remember, we are a healthy family).  The letter told us that our monthly rate (that had already slowly crept up to $738) will be $956, starting January 1, 2017.  That represents a 30% increase in our rates this year and nearly a 100% increase in just 5 years.

Remember, this plan pays for NOTHING!!

The two visits last year for our younger kids to the doctor for a sickness.  $130 each – We paid that!!

The ER visit with our teenage son for treatment of a head injury from a basketball game.  $750 dollars, guess who paid that . . .  yes again US!

Or how about the visit to a sports medicine doctor ($350).   And 4 visits to a physical therapist for work on our sons leg after a track injury for $50 a piece?  Yes, again we paid for that!

In fact we have found that some doctors will give us a better rate if we just ignore the insurance all together and pay cash. (see the incredibly cheap rate we paid the physical therapist).

To help put this all into perspective, effective January 1st we will be paying more for our health insurance than we pay for OUR HOUSE PAYMENT!  Or put another way, we will pay $256 more per month than we pay for groceries to feed our family of 6!


I haven’t been to the doctor for 6 years, why?  Because I can’t afford it!  Of course we take our kids when they are really sick.  No amount of money would make us risk our kids health or well being.  But my wife and I just tough it out!

The Un-Affordable Health Care Act has FAILED! 

Why in this election year are we so focused on “locker room talk” and “deleted emails” while stuff like this is happening to hard working American families.  I can’t even fathom what self employed individuals who choose to stay on a “traditional” plan are having to pay!

We don’t make a ton of money!  We have two small businesses (a bookkeeping firm and our blog & video course business).  Some years we do pretty well, other years (depending on market conditions) we don’t do all that great.  On those slow years we have sufficient for our needs and that’s about it.  During those slow years, this new insurance rate will represent 25% of our income!!  Yep ¼ of our income will go to pay for insurance we never use but have to have in case of a disaster (and because the powers that be have told us so).

I’m sure I will have people ask, in those slow years why don’t you turn to healthcare.gov and get a supplemented plan? Or put your kids on Medicare?  My answer;  taking care of my family is my wife and I’s responsibility NOT THE GOVERNMENTS.  I will get a second (or 3rd) job before I let Uncle Sam take care of me!  Period, end of argument!  These programs, in my view, are meant to help those who truly can’t help themselves.  I will be darned if I’m going to take a government supplement because I’ve having a slow year!

So what needs to be done???

We need to take the handcuffs off the market and allow a free market system and competition to return to the health insurance industry.

My family represents almost zero risk to our insurance company.  We have no health issues at all.  No family history of major health problems.  We exercise every day, watch our weight and eat better than 95% of the country.  Insurance companies should be breaking down our door to offer us competitive rates to get us in their “pool”.  Instead I’m forced to struggle paying almost $1000 a month for basically NOTHING.

We the American people have allowed this garbage to go on for too long!  I call on all of us to get this idiotic campaign out of our way. Then we need to drive our house and senate representatives CRAZY!  Until they get this fixed and allow the free market to function again!!  There is much “broken” in the health insurance industry, but we were better off before Obama Care!  Let’s at least get back to that stage and then move forward!

I’m interested to hear about how much you are paying for your health insurance.  Without disclosing too much personal information I would love to know what type of plan you have and how much you are paying?  Please comment below! 

I’d also love to hear from folks that have opted to not have health insurance and instead pay the stupid tax penalty?  How are you functioning without insurance? 

Give me your suggestions for us “little people” to get some changes made?

Okay, rant over . . . I think I will go sit in my garden for a few hours and eat some tomatoes!!

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  1. Jordan October 19, 2016 8:40 am Reply

    I saw your post on comment on Homestead Bloggers and I think sometimes it’s good to rant. Let’s your readers get to know you 🙂
    I enjoyed your post. You’ve clearly thought about this a lot. I will say however I’m totally in favor of Obamacare even though I now also pay high insurance costs but before you think I’m insane, hear me out. Shortly before Obamacare was passed I was paying for insurance through my college (required) as my father is disabled and therefore I was not covered under any family plan. The cost was $1600 a year with a $3000 deductible and many exemptions. I also found it cheaper to tell doctors and pharmacies that I had no insurance. Now $1600 may not sound so bad but when you’re a full-time student in a tiny college town (literally 2 stores) holding down a job is not the easiest thing. Plus I often went home to help out which was right across a state line for weekends, vacations, and summer break where this out of state insurance I had purchased was useless. So when my 4 wisdom teeth started coming in sideways I did my best to ignore them. Until they were really, really infected. Then I bought leftover antibiotics and vicodin from another student, smart choice I know. Long story short though it all ended with an ER visit and a couple dental surgeries racking me up about $2800 in bills and for the next few months I started trying to pay small amounts while ignoring collector calls but then Obamacare got passed and not only did I get covered but it covered back 6 months and all my bills got paid. Now you may be against “government handouts” but 19 year old me was pretty excited and I bet your kids would’ve been too. So when someone wants to know if I like Obamacare even though I pay a lot now I have to say yes. I used it after that too and being covered until I turned 21 was a huge burden lifted. I don’t think Obamacare should be done away with. Sure, it absolutely has problems that need to be worked on but do away with everything would be sad. There are people who really need this and I mean more than my little sob story there. Anyway that’s my long drawn out two bits and I’ve always loved your gardening posts, keep em coming!


  2. IdlewildAlaska October 19, 2016 10:09 am Reply

    Well said! Insurance is such a scam and rip off! The hubby and I would love to be totally self-employed, but my number 1 concern is paying for health insurance. There is something seriously wrong with that picture.


  3. Danielle October 19, 2016 5:19 pm Reply

    Health insurance is a joke. Until a year ago, we were without coverage and “paid the penalty”. Actually, we didn’t pay a dime as we claimed hardship because it’s just too expensive on what we make a year. We would’ve been paying what our house and car payment cost for decent coverage and that’s insane.
    We have coverage now, it’s employer offered through my husbands work. It’s still pricey and nothing like the coverage we had before the ACA when we had coverage.
    I’m pregnant now and I would love to say I’m so glad we have coverage. I’m not. I’ve paid more so far in this pregnancy than I paid for the pregnancy and birth of both of my children. I still have 4.5 months left! I would be saving money by paying out of pocket over what I’ve paid so far. It’s disgusting and sad.
    I hope we get the right PEOPLE (not just the president 😉) in office to fix this disaster.


  4. JAC October 21, 2016 7:58 am Reply

    My husband and I also received a notice. Our insurance will be going up $220 a month so we will be looking for a new plan–again. We did this last year. No dental, no chiropractic, no vision. It helps with prescription costs but we pay until deductible is met. Unless we have a major problem, the deductible will never be met. While some may be benefiting, we are doing the same as you and avoiding healthcare as much as possible. How does this make for a healthier America if the ones actually paying for the insurance can no longer afford to go to the doctor?

  5. Mary October 21, 2016 8:24 am Reply

    I think the problems isn’t government mandated health insurance coverage so much as it is that affordable health care itself has become a big business and is inaccessable to far too many. Insurance companies are ruling the roost, so to speak, and dictate the type, amount and frequency of health care that professionals can deliver.

    Like most Americans, I have “affordable” health insurance through my employer. However, if I were to lose my job, that coverage would be gone. With it, treatment plans, prescriptions, and access to my physician.

    My adult daughter, until her recent graduation, was a full-time student who worked part-time. Before the Affordable Care Act was implemented (and she qualified for Medical Assistance because of her paltry income) she was completely without health insurance.

  6. Cheryl @ Pasture Deficit Disorder October 22, 2016 8:21 am Reply

    Bravo! Thank you for this “off-topic” post. I’ve been reading to out loud to my hubby and you have sparked a very lively conversation in our house. I will be sharing, because as a country we really need to be having this conversation.


  7. Marie October 22, 2016 8:54 am Reply

    As a permanently disabled person, I don’t have a hat in the ring on the ACA insurance options. I am required to be on Medicare ($110/mo for which I get very little) and after going over my options I choose every year to get a supplemental plan that works much like my former employers’ plans did pre-2009 and I pay another $125/mo for that which includes dental and an eye exam but not glasses or hearing aid. So my experience is not the same.

    The biggest failing of the ACA (beyond NO ONE reading it before it was passed!!!) is that there were no costs to consumers guidelines or statutes included. I wondered how people missed that. Sure, pre-existing conditions must be allowed in per the law. That doesn’t stop the insurance company from charging what they want for that policy, though.

    I think it is wrong that premiums are so ridiculously high. I was horrified to learn there were zero provisions about costs and my worst fears are being realized by thousands of families nationwide.

    Either we need to get to a point where all citizens get basic health care at no cost or we need to be clear that only the people who can afford it should have it. Congress should also be required to use the same healthcare it votes for the rest of us to have. I’d bet my life if they had to use the Exchange, or pay proportionately what their constituents do, things would change and FAST. They get single payor health care for life while in and after leaving office, though, so why should they be bothered to make changes?

    My Medicare Premium and my Advantage Plan premium together make up over 25% of my disability disbursement per month. My medications are nearly another 10%. Housing is nearly 40%. I can’t afford a car so I depend on friends because my area has zero public transportation. If I were 55, I could get senior transportation. I’m not there yet. Food, clothing, unplanned medical, and transportation (I pay gas and a bit toward car maintenance) take up much of the rest.

    Not once have I heard any candidate say they’d fix the cost to Americans for their now inadequate health care that costs too much.

    You are not alone in your outrage.

  8. Jennifer October 22, 2016 9:58 am Reply

    Thank you for voicing a sentiment held by many people. The Affordable Healthcare Act was implemented to help all people have access to needed healthcare. And the nobility of it should be applauded. However, the logistics of the programs (AHA and Marketplace/Obamacare) prohibit their own success, not to mention the reality of human behavior in the world in which we live.

    A free market system allows for a kind of “survival of the fittest” in which consumer demands drive what the market delivers, not handed down from on on high. And what everyone (rich, poor, young, old, healthy, ailing) wants is an affordable system. Not a system that they (WE) are TOLD is “affordable” and ends up being anything BUT. Remember The Outlaw Josie Wales? “Don’t p*** down my back and tell me it’s raining”.
    I am in a place in my life where I am so close to being self-employed and self-sufficient, but I have to continue to work full time because I need the insurance for my family and myself. We are not destitute. We do not need or want government assistance. And we most certainly do not want to be dictated to by a government run program. Not to mention a government run program that costs more to run than it can afford to help the people who need it. Makes no sense. Not on a fiscal level and not on a social level.
    Insurance is a racket, but is a necessary evil in order to be able to persue and even maintain a lifestyle in which I, and all people who choose to, are not reliant on government “hand-outs”.

  9. Nancy October 22, 2016 5:30 pm Reply

    My husband and I were self employed for 20yrs and had the same type of insurance problems 10 thousand deductable with an hsa they wanted over 800 a month last year. We went to Liberty Health Share best thing I ever did you should check them out.

  10. Renn Flinders October 22, 2016 7:51 pm Reply

    I can’t agree with you more. I have been in the same boat for the last five years. I had a much higher deductible but was only paying 340 a-month. In fact we had two children while on this plan which paid for nothing. I found it better to not go through the insurance and set up a cash pay arrangement with the hospital and doctors- which was very afordable. I would have paid about the same as my deductible as I paid out-of-pocket, but I did not have to pay the higher insurance premiums. so I’m anxiously awaiting November 1 to be able to start shopping again. But I’m sure it will be in the same range as you.

  11. Victoria Jones October 24, 2016 9:55 am Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I’m on Medicare being over 65 with supplement but my husband is not there yet. Between us we work at least 4 jobs and couldn’t possibly afford to pay for Obamacare. I think the only people I know of who have benefited from it are (1) students who are without coverage from their families, (2) people who either will not work, (3) people who truly cannot work because of physical conditions, or (4) who work but don’t earn enough to pay the horrendous premium costs. Unfortunately there appear to be far more of #1 and especially #2 than there are the rest of us. Obamacare in my opinion was nothing more than another means to make the population totally dependent on the government and lead to a Socialist state. Oh, what does that mean? Sorry, I forgot that real history (which we should know not to repeat – and we are repeating) is not taught in our (government-run) schools these days. I just want to buy land in the mountains and live out the rest of my days in seclusion.

  12. cindy October 25, 2016 4:22 am Reply

    Ok so here it is. Self employed and prefer to taking the tax penalty! Admitting it is not a perfect strategy but this is not a perfect world. We do not use conventional healthcare because it is downright dangerous and inept, other than maybe major emergency care. They have policies for that.But you will still have to fix yourself after a stint in the conventional hospital. It begins as a personal journey of many steps but your a gardener so your on the right track.Please research The Truth about Cancer with Ty Bollinger and just keep going there is so much more on the internet to learn about taking back the power of your own healthcare.

  13. cindy October 25, 2016 4:28 am Reply

    Oh and if you want to change the political system dont give them your money, otherwise it will never happen. theres my two cents

  14. Julie October 31, 2016 9:25 am Reply

    I can’t even comprehend what you go through because I live in Canada. When I was working, I paid $450 a year for national healthcare. This didn’t cover drugs, dental, eyeglasses and some specialized care but I paid about $50 a month to my employer and they covered 80% of those costs.

    Now that I’m retired, I don’t pay anything for my national healthcare and about $30 a month to my employer to cover 80%. With my boyfriend’s additional coverage, I don’t have to pay the 20% any more. So basically I pay $360 a year for all my healthcare coverage. If Canada can do it, why can’t the US. And don’t listen to Trump, I had a hip replacement this year. Mine wasn’t an emergency and I was retired so didn’t go as early as I could. Still, diagnosis to surgery was less than 6 months. What did I pay for that? $0


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