Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
By Brad Friedman
Well, that was easy.
On Sunday, December 22, the day before the deadline for January 2014 insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), I signed up without problem.
I used the California exchange website, it took me less than an hour, I'll be able to keep the same provider I had previously (and therefore, the same doctors), and I'll be saving almost exactly $300/month or $3,600/year.
Sounds good to me. I had no "glitches" along the way, at least to date, and the process was quite clear and simple.
Since I'm in fairly good health, and haven't used much of the plan that I've had for years, I opted for a marginally higher deductible in this new plan than I had previously, and the copays for most things will cost me about $15 more a piece. However, I could have had an almost identical plan, from the same provider (and many others) with the same deductible that I currently have, and still would have saved about $150/month. For that matter, every plan offered to me that I was able to compare side-by-side on the exchange site (there were many to chose from), would have been less expensive for me than my current individual plan which I've had for about 15 years.
My apologies for a rather boring Obamacare story. No drama. No outrage. It just seems to have worked as planned -- and will save me a lot of money. (Even if I have to cover my entire deductible next year, I'll still be saving money over what I had been paying to the same healthcare provider.)
While I still find no reason for private insurance companies to profit off of our illnesses -- and hope for a far more moral system of healthcare in this country in the near future (as we've discussed in countless articles at The BRAD BLOG over the years) -- Obamacare, in this case, seems to have worked just as it seems it was designed to.
So, for those who helped make at least that much happen, thank you. I'm better off than I was before Obamacare. So that, at least, is a bit of progress in the right direction.
Originally published at The BRAD Blog. Republished with permission.