Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'm Insured Again!

Back in June, I wrote about having to go without health insurance for 6 months in order to get insurance in Arizona. That was an unpleasant by-product of past health issues and the expiration of my COBRA 18 months after I retired from Hilton. If you missed that, here's the link.

That was a scary 6 months, as you can imagine. Fortunately, I made it through without a health incident. I applied for high risk pool insurance in Arizona last month, and my application was approved. I had to provide documentation proving that I am a resident of Arizona, my previous insurance had been cancelled, and that I had been declined for individual insurance. Now, as of February 1, I am covered by a state program that exists as required by Obamacare. My cost is about $350 per month, and the coverage is fairly good. It's difficult to describe how relieved I am to eliminate this financial risk from our retired lives. Let's just say very. VERY, VERY.

There are a lot of things wrong with how medical coverage is handled in our country. I'm no expert, but I know that those of us who can pay are paying for those who can't pay. Insurance is so complicated that it costs doctor's practices a ton of money just to process claims and payments. But I do believe strongly that everyone who wants/needs coverage should be able to get it. I need it, and I can pay for it. If Obamacare (or something similar) hadn't passed, I would have been out of luck. Uninsurable. I am thankful for what is available to me now.

I heard something interesting on CNBC the other day about trends related to health care deductibles. Because costs are rising, many are opting for higher deductibles. That tends to make people more selective about how often they go to the doctor, and for what. At best, that cuts down on unnecessary visits and expenses. At worst, it could keep people from going to the doctor when they should. Only time will tell the long term effect.

The moral of the story is... Do what you can do to maintain your health. Eat right, keep moving, get plenty of sleep, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you have insurance, appreciate it!

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