Obamacare Cost Me My Health Insurance

I have no health insurance today, due entirely to Obamacare.

Being self-employed I have had an individual health insurance policy through the same major, health insurance company for approximately twenty years. Facing significant rate increases — which the company said was due to the (Orwellian-named) Affordable Care Act — I signed up for coverage, with that same company, last spring through the federal marketplace.

I used the marketplace for three reasons: It offered a multi-state plan — sold only through the marketplace and not directly by the company — which provided a deductible which wasn’t as ridiculously high as other plans. (Bolstering arguments that simple changes, like offering insurance across state lines, would provide better improvements to the health care system than a giant government power grab.) I was also able to get a small subsidy to help offset the near-doubling of my insurance policy premium, and 67% increase in my deductible, between the time Obamacare was approved and now. Largely, though, I was motivated by a reporter’s curiosity in discovering how the system worked.

(It doesn’t.)

Enrolling in Obamacare was a major nightmare.

Escaping Obamacare is even worse.

My premium, under the “your rates won’t go up” Obamacare plan, was to be jacked up 23.9% as of January 1. That’s it. I was out of there, reportorial curiosity or not. (I will also send the IRS a check with my tax return for the small subsidy I received during the last nine months of 2014.)

On December 12, I completed an application for essentially the same policy I had — without the lower deductible of the multi-state plan — and for exactly the same monthly premium, directly with the company. The plan would take effect January 1 of this year. Even though the two plans were issued by the same company, I was told that I would need to contact the marketplace to cancel the old policy. My marketplace plan was to end December 31 anyway, but I went ahead and cancelled it.

A few days later I received an email from the marketplace informing me that, because I had not re-enrolled, the marketplace had re-enrolled me in the old policy. I started to ignore it because of the sheer volume of emails I was getting from them. (Between November 25 and December 15 they sent me 14 emails, nearly one a day for a while, urging me to re-enroll, bearing such propagandistic subject lines as, “Millions are getting covered.”) I went back to the marketplace and cancelled a second time.