Flirting with Obamacare

healthcare

In a few days our short-term health insurance will expire. Since our initial foray into self-insurance the landscape of the industry has changed significantly. We were ignorant of the changes in the law that became effective during our time off as well as how they would impact our family. Our intent is to be insured for catastrophic events at a reasonable price while we travel. Evidently we are ignorant to our own needs. By law, the policy we purchased for traveling around in the RV is no longer available to anyone wishing to insure as we did. This is unfortunate, there are many unique situations where a catastrophic policy is an ideal solution for a family. We are one of those situations.

We did explore the Affordable Care Act health portal healthcare.gov and like too many others found it lacking. As we are technically unemployed we were curious as to how we may be covered. Unfortunately, we could not get through the gauntlet of questions to ever reach the plan comparison portion of the site. It was interesting that after nearly a dozen identity related questions the site began feeding information back to me that resembled a creepy “This is Your Life” program. Have you lived in these places? Followed by a list of a number of my old street addresses. Do you know these people? Followed by a list of family members. For all the technical problems with the site, it is clearly linked to an immense array of databases with decades worth of information on individuals.

Once the site was satisfied that I was really Elizabeth Friend formerly of Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia, California, Indiana… still no plan comparison. Now they wanted to know about anyone who was with me at the computer such as a navigator, counselor, friend. I selected “No one”. The next question was, “What is their name?” I was stuck. I contacted the site to see how to get past this. The chat helper didn’t know what to do. They suggested moving forward with whatever answer the computer would accept. That sounded like providing false information to me. In the fine print there is always a clause that states “false information will result in nullification of agreement” That was the end of my research using healthcare.gov.

Lucky for us our next portion of the trip will be overseas – this is a different arena with different rules. The site I used to get our short term insurance, ehealthinsurance.com, provides Travel insurance as well. This is how the site works, you select what you are looking for, enter name, sex and age of members on the policy and hit enter. A number of plans from different providers appears with the basic benefits and a price. If one fits your criteria you click ‘Apply’. A form is prepopulated with information already entered. Payment information is entered and *click* application is complete. My email box had a notification of the application and the next day there was notice of approval.

We have Travel Health insurance that is good overseas for a finite period of time. It is essentially catastrophic coverage with the addition of free transport of a body back home. How lovely. It also will not cover injuries from events undertaken for thrill-seeking. Party poopers.

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