I found this article in The New York Times which helpfully lays out the dizzying array of plans from which to choose within the Affordable Care Act’s online market places. If you’ve decided to brave the storm of misinformation by right-leaning media, as well as the disappointment of America’s stubborn unwillingness to adopt a single-payer system for everyone (like Medicare), then bravely read here:
NETWORKS- Many consumers are already bemoaning the more restrictive networks of providers, which have intentionally been kept small to keep overall costs down. To make the best choice when networks are limited, experts suggest selecting one with a hospital you’re comfortable with.
DRUG PLANS- For now, individuals need to navigate drug plans that have at least four tiers of medications, each requiring different levels of cost sharing or coinsurance, according to Avalere Health. If you learn that a drug you need is not covered after you’ve already enrolled in a plan, you can request an exception if it is deemed medically necessary (and appeal if you and the plan disagree).
The gist of the article is that the choices are complicated, so read the plans and their components carefully before you choose. A single-payer system would have none of these issues, but for now this is what we’ve got. Another good idea is to ask the advice of a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or social worker. Some hospitals now have services specifically to help people navigate the system and choose plans.
I know many of you think Obamacare is total crap, but as I said above, it’s what we’ve got until, hopefully, something better comes along. I’m posting this to help those who need insurance coverage and are confused or intimidated by all the information and choices. We need to put our thoughts not only on what we want to happen, but what is happening right now, in order to live and survive in this chaotic world.