Source: Democratic Underground.com
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, I was lucky to be eligible for breast/cervical cancer by Medicaid.
I had four cancer-related surgeries and lost my job because my FMLA ran out (my degenerative disk disease severely limits the type of jobs I’m able to do, which are pretty much non-existent in our area. Now, I’ve developed bad knees and am unable to pass the physical to go back to work at the place I previously worked for).
When Medicaid claimed I was no longer eligible and gave notice of their intent to drop me, my fiance and I hurried to Vegas to get married so he could put me on his insurance to avoid a coverage gap. Nobody knew at the time if the ACA would make it through the Supreme Court and 2014 was 3 years away. The problem is, my husband is paying for coverage we can’t afford to use.
He works at Walmart and our deductible is $5,500 and annual maximum $10,000. I haven’t seen my oncologist for over a year and I’m supposed to go every 3 months to be monitored for recurrence.
The only way for me to be eligible for subsidized health insurance with a 94% actuarial value (meaning I only pay 6% of everything) is for my husband to drop from full-time to what Walmart considers part-time (33 hours or less, which may change to less than 30 hours in 2015). Walmart only offers health insurance for spouses to full-time employees.
I do NOT blame the Affordable Care Act for refusing to expand Medicaid — I blame the Supreme Court and the state we live in. What I do blame the law for is making family members who are offered health insurance through an employer ineligible for subsidies when their premiums aren’t even counted in the 9.5% affordability calculation.
I am happy that the new law is helping so many people and I don’t want it to go away. But it needs to be improved and I don’t see that happening until Democrats gain control of the House. Several others have shared their experiences, both good and bad, so I thought I’d share mine.