So once we got back to Texas, we had to drop Kaiser Permanente because they didn't have offices in the state. By this time, the ACA had plans available, and we went to the exchange to choose one.
We found it much more difficult than Colorado. Colorado had embraced the new healthcare changes, and the state had advisors available to help people choose a plan. But back in Texas, which chose not to expand Medicaid, we found ourselves trying to navigate the system on our own. Didn't seem like that big of a deal, because we weren't eligible for Medicaid.
We chose a plan with Humana that was not cheap, but it had some of the things we'd liked with Kaiser Permanente. We realized that we would use our insurance if it had zero deductible, so that was important, even though it cost more. Our plan cost about $1100 a month the first year for two healthy adults. The following year, they increased our monthly rate to over $1300. We weren't happy about it, but didn't have much of a choice.
Until the next year, when Humana announced that they were eliminating our plan altogether. Ends up that because Texas chose not to expand Medicaid, many low income folks who hadn't had healthcare in awhile and were sicker or had untreated health issues were pushed onto the insurance rolls. If Texas had accepted the Medicaid expansion, those folks would have been subsidized.
As a result, our "replacement plan" from Humana was going to be $2400 a month, have a $12,000 deductible, and 30% coinsurance on hospital services. We decided that it wasn't worth it. For almost $30,000 a year, we decided we were better off paying the penalty and saving the money for international healthcare options if something went wrong. We were also not allowed to put money in a pre-tax healthcare savings account like everyone else because we didn't have employer-sponsored insurance.
We refused to pay more for our healthcare than our mortgage. A decision for which I've felt a great deal of anxiety.
In my next post, I'll talk more about our current solution...