The Un-Affordable Health Care Act and a Gardener
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 ask you, HOW IS THIS AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE!!!!?????
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!!