Artists and Health Insurance

I thought we should get a pulse on health insurance.

Deep ThoughtHealthCare.gov logo

Do you have health insurance? Did you get it for you as an individual or through work or a spouse?

Have you tried to access health insurance through the HealthCare.gov site? Or have you used a state exchange?

If so, what did you find out?

Has the Affordable Care Act made any difference in your ability to obtain health insurance?

I look forward to a meaningful discussion about this, but it’s not my intention to incite political rants. We’re here to help other artists out. 

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49 comments to Artists and Health Insurance

  • Have health insurance. My normal $12 med is now $75, insurance premiums have skyrocketed. Not a fan.

  • I don’t have direct experience (since this is one reason I decided to remain in the UK) but I know a couple of self employed artisans whose lives have literally changed. One artist I know gets her monthly meds (not optional) and no longer has to choose between her meds and her food budget each month.

    It’s not perfect, but it has to start somewhere. My take (as an American) is that a huge change like this will take probably a decade to evolve into a truly effective cultural change.

  • Ann Cunningham

    My husband and I are self-employeed. Our insurance, a$5,000 deductible per person, was $1400.00 a month. With Obamacare, a meer fraction of that. Now I can actually afford to get health care in addition to insurance. I am a very big fan.

  • My experience: I got my insurance through HealthCare.gov, and sailed right through the process in mid-November. My individual health policy premium dropped almost $300 a month while lowering my deductible and out-of-pocket limits. Prescription medications for several chronic long-term illnesses will no longer force me to choose which is more important or to skip doses. I totally understand that it is not a perfect system and that my benefit comes at someone else’s loss. Same thing happens with homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, car insurance — that is the nature of insurance. Spread the risk out over all to make it more affordable. No, you don’t have to buy those other insurances, but intelligent people do. We already pay for everyone’s health care, it’s just not transparent. We pay whenever we used a medical service — how do you think that hospitals recoup their losses on unpaid emergency room bills or other bills that people without insurance don’t/can’t/won’t pay? By raising the cost for everyone.

    I would really like to see our country adopt a national health system based on Canada’s. I have a number of Canadian friends, many of them have had serious health issues, and ALL of them have nothing but praise for their health care system. I agree with Tina, it will take at least a decade to get this right, and if Congress can’t get it’s act together and start acting like grown-ups it will take even longer. The process has to start some where.

  • I have health insurance as a “retiree” through my former employer. Superb coverage for which I pay half. Employer pays the other half. Last year I had $40,000 in medical bills (mostly due to a stuck gallstone and then gallbladder surgery), and my total out-of-pocket was less than $100.

    I did go to the NY State exchange just out of curiosity and to see if I could get a better “deal”. I could not. The “Platinum” plan, which is the very best coverage you can get under the ACA, would still have a deductible of around 10%. So last year would have cost me at least $4000 out-of-pocket, and the monthly premium (after the gov’t subsidy) would still be $100/mo. more than I’m currently paying. So, I’m keepin’ what I’ve got through my former employer. (Still, it’s important to remember that the ACA wasn’t designed for people like me.)

    As for costs, people who hate this law seem to forget that health care costs (along with college costs) have had their own inflation rates for decades now. From 2002 – 2012, my employer’s health insurance costs – they paid 100% while I was working – jumped an average of 9.93% per year for me. (This info was included on my pay stubs and I tracked it in anticipation of retiring.) The biggest jump during that period was 20.19% in 2005, long before the ACA.

    My increase this year is 5.45%, which is the 3rd *lowest* since 2002. I don’t know if the ACA should get the credit for that, but I’m sure the law should not be blamed for it.

    I agree with Tina. The ACA is far from perfect, but it’s a start.

  • Jacqueline Campbell

    My husband and I are self-employed. We had been buying our own insurance at $530/month. Applied through the DC exchange (a most frustrating experience) but will now pay very little. This takes a financial load off of us. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

    • $530 doesn’t sound so bad to me. Ours had jumped to over $1k a month, which Stanfield Art Associates was paying. We are fortunate that my husband’s new employee now covers most of it. VERY fortunate. And our “luck” has little to do with ACA.

      • Jacqueline Campbell

        $530/month isn’t too bad, some months. Since we are both self-employed, there have been some pretty dicey months. The main issue was that while we were insured under that plan, they refused to cover a non-life-threatening but very expensive pre-existing condition. As a result, I have not been treated for it in almost 4 years. With our new coverage, I can be seen for it, and I’m happy about that.

  • Andy Rotman-Zaid

    Our COBRA ran out in October and it curtailed healthcare in many ways for us. My medications from October to Jan 1 were bought through international pharmacies because of prohibitive costs. My regular doctor visits were halted until our insurance was in place.
    We have not had personal insurance since 1985 and were reliant on employer insurance which was in many cases prohibitively expensive. So.we applied for insurance at Healthcare.gov starting in October. As an early adopter we struggled through the system getting up and running. The time invested in getting it right was worth it and it will take time, patience and persistence to continue on this road. It will get easier. We are in Illinois and because of my self-employed status and our gross income the system pushed us to Illinois Medicaid. This was not an option because the care was too limiting for my chronic illness both in doctors accessible and medications. So we learned what the system thresholds were and did a reasonable projection that put us over the income limit.
    With the federal subsidy our premium is about 1/3 of the premium we were paying on the COBRA. The benefits because of ACA are much more robust and we have no preconditions to address, which was prohibitive in the past because of chronic disease.
    In all ACA and the Exchange working with insurance companies is a significant benefit that not only offers peace of mind but also access to care in significant ways for us. I have always looked for a US singlepayer plan, but with the results of a democratic process ACA is a good solution and eventually likely to turn into a single payer program as it smooths out over time.
    People should remember that the subsidy is a trust system and that because it is based on income projections for 2014 with a 5 year look-back option, depending on annual income the subsidy contribution might change. The way I have looked at this is if I have the income to not be subsidized that is a good thing. But I appreciate the program because it allows me to get back on a consistent healthcare journey that will allow me to create and contribute more productively.

  • Kristine Schroeder

    Our application is still in progress. My husband spent 8 hours one day last month going thru the application process on healthcare dot gov. Then we got a letter from the State of Wisconsin saying we could apply for Badger Care Plus after Feb. 6. We’ve been without health insurance since I was fired from an accounts receivable job in 2009. My husband takes medicine for glaucoma, and he cannot just go without it – he will go blind. The jury is still out for us.

  • I’m not sure how well the ACA will work if younger people don’t start signing up in waves. I imagine the youth will jump once the penalty raises. That said, I’m not sure I agree with what boils down to being a tax penalty. I think we def’ need to see a few changes in the law.

    That aside, I’m also a tad concerned about small business concerning the ACA. My fave bookstore — locally owned — has operated for over 20 years. They plan to close shop in April or March… the owner claims it is due to the ramifications of the ACA. I see a lot of small businesses letting workers go after years of stable employment. It has me worried about area galleries — AND makes me wonder what will happen to studio assistants near the Godfrey area of Illinois.

    On the other hand, I know that a lot of people are angry about being forced — tax wise — to pay for something they don’t want. BUT when you consider how much the average adult spends on coffee, soda, and so on… it really isn’t that bad depending on your situation.

    As for artists in general, I imagine most artists have a ‘day job’… so they will likely be covered by their employer. Maybe.

    I see the positive and the negative side of the ACA. I agree it may take a decade or longer to work it out…

    • Brian: I wouldn’t worry about galleries and I find the bookstore’s reasons for closing to be suspect. Do they have more than 50 employees?

      https://www.healthcare.gov/do-i-have-to-offer-health-coverage-to-my-employees/

    • I’m concerned about this too. I have encountered too many young (and a few who are old enough to know better) people who just shrug and say they’ll just pay the penalty. The penalty needs to be much higher than the cost of the insurance.

      A cautionary tale to all young people who think they’re invincible and “never get sick”: Recent news reports (here) carried the story of a 23 year old man who was in a *serious* snowmobile accident on January 4. He was medivac’d to a trauma center about 75 miles away with multiple (including head) injuries. He’s still in the hospital and will be there for at least two more weeks after having surgery to reconstruct his jaw.

      A benefit is being planned for him and his family because, according to the paper, neither he – nor they, apparently – have health insurance. At 23, he’d be eligible to be on his parents’ insurance (until age 26) if they had it, or he could have purchased insurance himself from the exchange and – given the typical income of a 23 year old – it would likely have been almost completely subsidized. As of Jan. 4, he could – no, SHOULD – have been covered. I can only guess at the reason why he’s not, but it probably has something to do with being “forced to pay for something he didn’t want”.

      Instead, he’s likely facing $100,000 or more in medical bills. It’s a safe bet that only a small percentage of that will be paid. Now that the ACA is in place, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no excuse for this sort of irresponsibility. So much for personal responsibility.

  • I was self-employed and paying for my own insurance (around $150/month with a very high deductible) but started teaching full time last fall. Even though I’m an adjunct and my university has the lowest adjunct pay in the region, they do pay for health insurance (partial benefits for 2 classes and full benefits for 3 or more), so I think that *almost* makes up for the low pay.

  • I was on COBRA from a former employer before I retired to become an artist. My monthly payment was $253 with a $5000 maximum out of pocket expense. I checked the AHCA website but found the best rate was $375 with a maximum out of pocket of $6500 with Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser has just started to come to northern CO so I thought that was a very poor choice, because provider options would be limited. The next options, at the government portal, were $600 per month with higher maximum out of pocket. I finally chose the same insurance company as what I had been using under COBRA. The monthly premium is up to $435 with a maximum out of pocket expense of $16,666. There is nothing affordable about the “Affordable Care Act” for me. This is simply ridiculous. The rates under COBRA had also gone up to $375, so it was an across the board rate hike for any option I chose. My mother, who is 92, has the same health plan the people in congress have because of her pension. Her monthly Blue Cross rate went up to a whopping $187 per month, with a maximum out of pocket of $1250 per year. That my friends should tell us something.

  • Alyson — I’m not sure about the specifics…. I know they operate 2 other bookstores in the local area and another in St. Louis. It could be they wanted to get below that mark. Clearly that is another issue here — there is still a lot of confusion about it.

  • Kathy — If we are going to penalize people based on personal responsibility in this context… perhaps we should ‘hit’ drug offenders with an annual penalty (tax) that helps to support drug awareness programs. Perhaps high school drop outs should pay an annual income penalty from that point on in order to fund ‘stay in school’ programs…

    The government loves it when we walk down Penalty Street. Just saying.

  • Cristy

    Full time day job, here. Excellent insurance through my k-12 school district. Hubby is a self employed construction contractor, two school aged kids, all of whom are covered on my policy. It’s nice, but it makes “taking the plunge” into full time artist-dom look somewhat far fetched.

  • Lynnette

    I just met with my accountant about this. According to him, and someone please let me know if this is incorrect, if your plan is subsidized you’d still have to pay the full amount each month and then you would get the subsidized amount back at the end of the year when you get your tax refund. At this rate, the premiums cost more than 8 percent of my income, so I actually would not be penalized if I did not sign up as there is a clause saying people who have to pay more than 8 percent of their income are exempt.

    The lowest plan amount offered would only cover 60 percent of a medical bill. So that’s 40 percent you’d still have to cover, which I can’t afford. I would love to have affordable universal health insurance, but so far my vote is still out on this one…. as I simply still can’t afford it (I work full time as an artist, and some months are good, some months are dicey… I just can’t put a steady amount of money that equals half my rent each month toward health care that only covers 60 percent of any bills).

    So right now I am waiting to see for a few more months and see if any more bugs get ironed out and talk to some more self employed people and see what their experiences with the system are. I may opt in at a later point if it makes sense to do so.

    • As I understand it, you have the choice to apply all, some, or none of your subsidy amount to your monthly premium. Anything unused would be a tax refund or credit at the end of the year. Of course, if your income changes and you end up no longer qualifying for the subsidy, you would have to pay back anything you used after your income had increased.

      • Lynnette

        If that is the case (regarding the subsidy) that is good to know. I didn’t make sense otherwise, though this is still what my accountant is telling me He believes to be true. So when people I know start making payments I’ll ask them to tell me how the process goes.

    • Lynnette,
      According to all my phone calls, questions & answers…it is how Karen explained it above.

  • I am all signed up for the Affordable Care Act (As self employed). I will be SAVING $250 a month for good coverage and NO deductible!!!
    I will have out of pocket expenses up to a maximum of around $3500 or so if I need to be in the hospital or emergency room.

    I got the Gold plan proactive. I was asked no questions about preexisting medical issues which was amazing and a biggie for me. I have been covered by Cobra from my previous employer since I left my job in 2008.

    I wanted to change my ins. several times to something less expensive but it always ended up being a much higher premium because of preexisting stuff…. breast cancer 28 years ago and because I take some medications which I have to take monthly. So I kept paying a high premium with my cobra and stayed put.

    I have to be honest that it was not that easy to sign up for Obamacare. Everyone I spoke to on the healthcare.gov phone line was very helpful and attentive. BUT…until I did get to speak with someone was the issue. Lots of waiting on hold. And then more holds with the Insurance company.

    After all the holds…There ended up being a big glitch on the website which had listed my application as cancelled. I had also signed up for dental and then decided to bag it for different reasons. I went back to my application and ONLY cancelled the dental part. That’s when everything fell apart and I could not get anyone to change anything on my application. Apparently if you cancelled or changed one thing…the cyber bugs would enter and screw it all up.

    At that point I spent about another 3-4 days to a week on the phone with the people from the ACA and from the ins. co. Mostly with Blue Cross, my ins. co. One day I was on hold for 4 hours.

    By now I had to contact my previous employer and asked to be put back on the Cobra until this got all settled.

    I am very happy with what I will be getting with Obamacare…but…I decided to wait a month or 2 until the website is running without all the glitches.

    My son and daughter in-law in NYC are all signed up with Obamacare and started to be covered as of Jan. 1st. For them the process went smoothly. They are both self employed and won’t get subsidies…but they are still getting a much better plan than what they had up until now and will onlt pay a bit more.

    I feel very optimistic with this new Health Insurance. Is is a start. I would have been happier with a single payer plan…but it is the beginning.

    Alyson, you opened the can of worms…I had to tell you the whole story.

  • We’re now on Medicare but have supplemental health coverage through the Michigan Dental Association. Our premiums for the MDA policy are roughly $800-$900 per month, and we pay the Medicare premiums in addition to that! The coverage is good and the deductible I think is $1000 per year. However, the combined premiums seem awfully high to me.

    Our insurance renewed at the end of 2013 so the policy isn’t affected by the ACA requirements, and the premium increase was very modest this year. On the one hand, that’s good, but on the other, I’m holding my breath to see how high the premium will go next year.

    I fully support a lot of the requirements of the ACA but am very concerned about the poor way it was put together which is bound to hurt some while helping others. Like others, I think the penalty for not signing up for coverage is way too low. And, a much better job of educating young people about the need to have insurance could and should be done.

    For a time I worked in a major hospital handling Medicaid claims for the ER. It was a real eye opener as to why hospital costs are so high. The ER doctors did the tests and procedures that needed to be done for the patient’s injuries/illnesses, but in a lot of instances, Medicaid didn’t cover them. So some “creative” coding had to be done on the Medicaid forms or a whole lot of charges had to be written off – ie made up in higher fees for patients with insurance. That’s why an aspirin in the hospital might cost $5.00 or more.

    I feel that universal coverage for low income people is way overdue in this country, but I don’t see any way that health care premiums don’t rise substantially for us upper middle class income people. However, I’m thrilled that denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions is no longer allowed. I have several chronic “pre-existing” conditions which have barred us from changing insurance companies up to this point. And now I’m facing surgery to correct a problem caused by a badly broken leg when I was 23.

    And for what it’s worth, I agree with Kathy Partridge about personal responsibility. Too few people these days put much importance on that. We have stressed the importance of health care insurance to our kids, both of whom are very athletic, by telling them that you never know when a serious injury can occur to a perfectly healthy person.

    The government, or the insurance companies should be launching advertising campaigns to stress just that; the unforeseen serious accident, injury or illness that can strike a young person at any moment. Stress the losses that would ensue if the person has no insurance coverage, just like the current drunk driving ads do.

  • tfs

    Applied in early December on ACA site. Got a letter saying it had been passed on to my state(AZ) exchange. Got letters and automated phone calls saying that I should reenter all the info on my state exchange via their web site since the feds were not passing the info along to the state. Did that in late December and am still waiting to hear anything other than they have received my application and I appear qualified for medicaid. Haven’t seen a doctor in years and have paid for all my medical expenses(very few) myself over the past 30 years. Can’t wait until I become eligible for medicare…

  • I am a young, single, full time artist who makes under $30,000/year. I haven’t had health insurance since i quit my day job in 2011. I looked into ACA and the best they could do for me was $200/mo coverage with a $3000 deductible. to me, being young and healthy, its a waste of money. Id rather pay the 3% penalty. I go to a really nice local clinic that does all of my routine medical care for a $15 fee. I figure that the most likely thing to happen to me if there was a tragedy in my life, would be a car accident (god forbid), and those medical bills would be covered under my car insurance, (NY is a “no fault” state). So really, as long as I dont come down with a serious illness, (god forbid, again) economically, taking the 3% hit is my best bet.

  • I guess this isn’t one i can contribute much as i live in the UK. We have a National Health System tho some people take out additional private health care insurance as well. Just out of interest is ‘Obamacare’ the real name or some pseudonym?

  • I have never had health insurance and wasn’t planning on getting it. It’s never been anything I could afford. when I went to access-ct the numbers came up higher than I can afford so I planned to pay the penalty. Then I decided to meet with the consultant whom I use for my mother’s medicare advantage (my mother also has medicaid but I still have to have the other because her Primary guy doesn’t take medicaid).

    Anyway, when she worked though the process, it came up that I was eligible for Husky (CT’s version of medicaid). If it saves me the $95.00 penalty, I’ll take it. Even though it wouldn’t cover Naturopathy. In any case, I have no plans on using it.

    I’m hoping for real reform – the end to the health insurance industry in favor of single payer systems such as they have in Canada (and maybe soon in VT?)

    On another note, people who get the ACA coverage should be aware that a number of doctors will not be accepting this insurance.

  • Hi Alyson,

    This discussion makes me realize how lucky we are to be Canadian. We pay zero.

    Great topic.

    XOXOXO

    Barbara

  • I haven’t had healthcare for 13 years. I called 3 days ago as I was intimidated by the healthcare.gov marketplace coverage options and wasn’t sure which was best for me.

    In calling the toll-free line I got to speak with someone immediately, who took the time to answer, in detail, each and every question I had. We worked together and found a great plan for me where I am paying $10/month with a $500 deductible and $750 max yearly out of pocket and copay of $25 for a doctor’s visit and 20% of emergency, surgery, etc after my deductible.

    I did this all in 20 minutes, I am still in disbelief. You can’t imagine what a relief this is. Being a self-employed full-time artist can be stressful for so many reasons, lack of healthcare definitely being one of them. I am so happy about this change and thankful that people like me are now finally able to have healthcare.

    • Kelly, As you can see from the post below. I did not have this experience. I am curious about what program you got, what state you are in etc. I would LOVE a plan like this. How do I get it. I have both been on the phone and in person with someone and no one came up with a reasonable plan like this. If you want to contract me privately . go to my website and you will see my email address. I am desperate here as I have several health issues going on right now.

  • My partner was able to afford health insurance for the first time in seven years…Obamacare has free navigators that help people sign up in every town…also we have had no problem getting in touch with knowledgeable people on the phone…I have a preexisting condition and will be able to get health care now, too…I want a single payer system but this is a good stop gap…still too much bureaucracy…and drug companies still have way too much power…BUT…I”m grateful for the changes.

  • My husband and I are only in our late 50’s.
    He works six months of the year for the National Park Service—not entitled to health insurance because this is considered part time.
    I am a teacher that replaces teachers out on leave of absence—not entitled to health insurance because I don’t officially work full time. The rest of the time my husband is a self-employed commercial screenprinter and I am a self-employed professional photographic and fine art conservator and painting and portrait fine artist (a forty year old company).
    For three years we have been going to a Dr’s Health clinic that only accepts working people that do not have health insurance. Dr. visits are $15 and every bill (even hospital stays and surgeries-which we have needed) are 10% of the total bill. With the prescription card they gave us most medications are $3 to $10. It’s been a dream!!!
    I was soooo looking forward to a government health insurance plan as, being a Canadian citizen living in the U.S., I thought it was going to be a national plan that we could purchase affordably instead of shopping around to all the privately owned companies. NOT!!!!!!
    The Marketplace is just a place to get a comparison of all the privately owned plans out there. We were offered 65 plans. Sixty of them were $800 per month or more with $8,000 per year out of pocket deductible. At least 80% of the plans are not accepted by any physician in our county. If I am being forced to purchase health insurance, Doctors should be forced to accept the plans even if they are low-end, crappy plans.
    The remaining two plans, with the government discounts, are $600 per month one with a 20% co-pay and the other with 50% co-Pay (versus the 10% we’ve pay now).
    All lab work is 100% because the plans are not accepted here so my $18 per month blood work that monitors whether or not my meds are damaging my heart and liver will go to $586 per month.
    The drug card company we used closed down December 31, (they couldn’t complete, so they gave up and closed their doors) so our drugs have already gone from $3 each to $110 each. There is no prescription plan offered with the health plans we were offered, just the 20 or 50% co-pay.
    Where we had everything covered and good medical care we are now looking at almost $600 per month for the plan, $300 per month in meds, $586 per month in blood work, and the Rheumatoid Arthritis Dr. charges $740 per 15 minutes so I would have paid 50% instead of 10% I pay now, but he doesn’t take any of these low end plans so I have to find a new Rheumatologist—there’s a two year waiting period here with only nine Rheumatologists.
    Of course, if we don’t buy a plan at all, we have to pay 100% of everything. We were going to just pay the income tax fine of $89 and keep going to our current medical facility, but if you don’t buy a plan the bills from our current doctors flips to 100% of everything. If we do buy a plan we can no longer use our current primary care providers because they do not accept patients with health insurance. SCREWED!
    The above prices were with “discounts” using an income figure we made up. If we report the adjusted gross (as we are supposed to) our income is $1,500 short of meeting the minimum required income to qualify for a discount. Since the State of Tennessee opted OUT of Medicaid anyone not making the minimum income has to pay for health insurance on their own and they do not qualify for any government assistance. They must pay full price for it. That makes no sense! You don’t make enough money and you have to pay full price for health insurance.
    WE’RE SCREWED NO MATTER WHICH WAY YOU LOOK AT THIS!!!
    Our 3.5 acres of commercial and residential buildings and land is up for sale. If a buyer comes along we’re out of here!! We were going to move to another State, but moving back to Canada is rising up the list of places on this planet to go back to.
    As a Canadian I’m used to the Government giving orders and telling one how things will be done, but honestly, give us something we can work with. Don’t force me to spend thousands of my hard earned dollars for something no doctor will use and will raise all the prices of services for which I am paying now. ARGHH!

  • I do not qualify for Affordable Healthcare or any help with it since I make too little!!! Imagine that! I could pay full price. No help, no tax breaks that someone making 3 times what I make would get. People in my income bracket were to get the new expanded medicaid. However Virginia voted against expanded medicaid. So there is a huge gap. Let’s just say you would have to make less than $550 a month to get medicaid. All the way up to the $44,000 a year I would have to make for a family of my size. That is a HUGE gap. Virginia politicians know it exists. In the meantime I have health issues I am paying out-of-pocket for. Why are the ‘working poor’ who could use the most help, not being helped? By the way, If I paid full price for Healthcare under this “affordable” program, I would pay the same for doctor visits and procedures that I am paying now plus a monthly premium and a deductible. Until they fix this gap. I am going without.

  • Colleen Graham

    My family of four will never go without some form of health care! It is our greatest monthly expense and is the most important one for me. We have been in our own business since 2009. We pay $2,200 per month with a $4000 deductible,(higher premium because of our ages). The most challenging aspect of running a small family business has been the entire health insurance challenge.It’s a personal choice.
    As a breast cancer survivor(at 50) who knows first hand the incredible cost of treatments and surgery,(over $150,000)it still amazes me when many of my friends are against medical insurance and the ACA. I do not think that it is a luxury & yet I do wish we had a single-payer program like in Canada and Europe.
    Having medical insurance in general is really designed for covering catastrophic care and the high cost of life-saving prescriptions. As a self-employed artist as well I have shared my personal studio time to work in our family business in order to receive our(very expensive) health care. But what is the alternative? My 26 year old daughter recently developed a serious medical condition and thankfully she was covered under our small business plan.
    So, getting back to ACA, I just had to apply for new coverage starting Feb.1 because we are disqualified as a small business since we are a husband and wife. Really confused…me too!
    Meeting with my insurance agent, she was able to help me compare all of the policies available plans offered in NH. The individual carrier for a family of four was cheaper than the government run ACA plans. We will be saving about $400 per month. I have to get a new PCP and my local hospital will not accept the one insurance carrier in NH. However, before the ACA if we wanted to get individual insurance my daughter & I would be turned away because of pre-exisitng conditions.
    I had to pay my first premium upfront with a credit card,(because Anthem had misplaced many personal checks) and will not have my insurance cards for a few weeks! The coverage is OK and it has been a real hassle figuring it all out, but thankfully I know we will be covered in case of a serious accident or diagnosis.Thanks for giving me the soap box!