After more than a month of trying every day several times a day, I finally got signed in to the Healthcare.gov website and set up my account. I went through all the steps of putting in all the information, and at the end, I was emailed a PDF file with the results.
The results of my efforts are that I do not make enough money to be eligible for help purchasing a healthcare insurance policy. You see, you have to put in how much money you will get per month at the start of 2014. On January 1, 2014, Fabgrandpa and I will have exactly two sources of income. He gets Social Security in the amount of $894 per month, and I get a pension from AT&T in the amount of $429 a month.
For two people making that little bit of income, there is no provision in the Affordable Health Care Act to assist in purchasing a health insurance policy. The program that would have provided a stop-gap to help those who are making under the poverty line income was the Medicaid program, which is administered by the states. The State of Georgia, where I happen to life, has opted out of the expanded Medicaid option, leaving me as a living breathing human being with no option for my health care, save one.
Quote from my eligibility response:
Review the table below with your eligibility results. Karen Eidson – Based on the information you provided, the
new federal health care law provides that you could be eligible for free or low cost health care through
COMPASS. However, the state of GA has chosen not to offer you this new health care coverage at this time.
That one option that I have, from the official denial of eligibility from the federal government health insurance plan, is that I have the option to go to a community health care center for my healthcare needs. Here is the quote from that section of my results notification:
The health care law has expanded funding to community health centers, which provide primary care for millions of Americans. These centers provide services either for free or on a sliding scale based on your income. Learn more about getting care at a community health center on HealthCare.gov.
OK, that sounds simple enough, right? Well, a couple of months ago when I had to go to the WOCN to have someone look at my stoma because it was getting infected, I had to fill out paperwork to apply for financial assistance from the community health care center. Fabgrandpa and I had to provide proof of all our financials–all our bills and all of our income. The end result of that venture was for them to tell us that were were denied assistance for my healthcare because WE MAKE TOO MUCH MONEY.
So, which is it, government people? Do we make too much or do we make not enough? Either way, I am the person with the medical problems who can not get in to see a doctor.
Now, with all that being said, I can opt to fill out the Healthcare.gov again whenever, if ever, I am approved for disability. I am at the point of waiting for a hearing where I can go before a Social Security Judge. IF I am approved for disability, the income I would receive from that would put us over the bottom line of poverty enough to make me eligible to buy a health insurance policy through the Affordable Health Care Act. From what I have been told by the attorney who is handling my case, that could be another three or four months, so lets just say I am looking at end of February to apply again.
If I am turned down for disability, then I have to wait until I am 62 to be able to start drawing my Social Security. I will be 62 in May, so with the application and the waiting for the income, then lets say that I am looking at June or July to be able to get health insurance coverage. It might not sound like a long time to some people, but to me, it seems like forever. I need health care NOW. I have been waiting since June of 2012.
And since every time I am in a group of people who start discussing health care and social aid of any kind, the talk ALWAYS turns ugly, at least to me, with people saying that it is lazy people, people who are unwilling to work, scum of the earth, who are the people who do not have health insurance because they won’t get out there and get a job. Well, I HAD a job that provided health care. I was laid off from that job when I was 46, and when the money ran out, so did the health insurance. Just because you CAN purchase your health insurance through the COBRA plan or whatever, if you can’t find a job making the money you need to be able to pay your bills, it is hard or impossible to come up with the $1200 premium you would have to pay to keep your insurance.
So, I lost my health insurance in 1996. Ever since then, I have not worked on or been offered a job that offered health insurance as a benefit. That is NOT saying that I have NOT WORKED. I worked some hard jobs, some easy jobs. Not all employers offer health insurance to their employees. So, you can be just as hard working as the next person and still not have any health insurance. So many people in this country need to stop judging everyone by their own personal experience. Just because you are one of the ones whose employer provides your insurance plan, doesn’t mean that the person sitting next to you has that same benefit.
So, there you have it. What the Affordable Health Care Act is going to do for me. Nada. Zip. At least not right now. So, if you can still get insurance, be happy.