Friday, March 21, 2014

Finding a Blessing in Obamacare

While there are many things to complain about regarding Obamacare, I've come to appreciate some little-known facts that help me find a blessing in all of it. Here, I present to you a handful of things to be thankful for when you find yourself frustrated with our health system:
  1. Free breast pump and lactation consultant services - When my baby girl was 7 months old, I stumbled on a website that mentioned this coverage. I called my insurance the next day, got connected to the medical supply company that I was approved to use, and had a brand new pump within a week. I only wish I had known about this when she was first born so I could utilize a free appointment to help encourage my breastfeeding journey! 
    By the way, the pump my insurance provided was an
    Ameda Purely Yours double breast pump*.
    While it's not the best pump on the market,
    it was perfect for my needs and definitely not a cheap-o.
  2. No co-pays at wellness visits - I was so excited when the receptionist told me she didn't need a payment at Baby Girl's 9 month checkup! The ACA just saved me $20 at every routine visit. In fact, your insurance covers 50 routine screenings* that you shouldn't be paying for out-of-pocket.
    This is seriously how I felt that day...
    if you've ever followed the routine newborn check-up
    schedule, you know how it feels like you're at the doctor
    every other week.
  3. Children's dental, vision, and medical all rolled into one - Dependents, 19 and younger, get 2 visits to the dentist, an eye exam, and glasses or contacts every year. That's automatic* - no additional payments, no extra enrollment. I haven't utilized this perk yet, but it's just waiting to remind me of how blessed I am one day while I sit in a smelly, fluoride-filled waiting room.
  4. Medical cost-sharing programs - If you seriously loathe all things Obamacare and you really want to find a way out of it, there is another option for you. If you enroll in a cost-sharing program (ministry), you are exempt from the whole "get unaffordable insurance or be fined for not being able to afford your affordable insurance" catch 22. Medical cost-sharing kind of takes the whole idea of "the church caring for one another" to another level. You send in money (not considered a premium) every month, and it is distributed among the members with medical costs. Obviously, it's not that cut-and-dry, but it's a valid option to look into. There are three main companies in this arena that I've heard good things about: Christian Healthcare Ministries, Samaritan Ministries, and Medi-Share.
There you have it! Some little blessings buried in the 11,000 pages of confusion that now regulate our health-care system. Hopefully you or someone you know can enjoy at least one of them!

*Be sure to talk with your insurance provider to find out specifics on your coverage. While all of this is part of the law, many of the regulations are vague and therefore subject to interpretation by your individual carrier.