Well... here I go. My job is ending, and I need health insurance coverage with a pre-existing condition (Type 1 diabetes). My heart starts to race just thinking about this nightmare.
Let me preface this post by saying that I've never, as a health care consumer with a pre-existing condition, tried to obtain health care insurance coverage through Obamacare. And, in full transparency, let me state that I also have access to COBRA, which I plan to activate until I see how this whole experience goes. In my mind, I see this as a safety net, for now, and this fact may influence my experience a bit as I don't (for now) have that "desperate angle" to my experience. All of us with a pre-existing condition can relate, right? Anyway, COBRA is very expensive, but at least I can purchase coverage for the next 18 months if I have to. I simply cannot have ANY lapse in coverage. So for now, COBRA it is.
I know a lot about the logistics of the Affordable Care Act and how it's supposed to work, but I have never actually needed to put it to task until now. And I NEED this to work. I have championed health coverage for pre-existing conditions and feel that Obamacare is the first step towards that goal. And because my perspective is that I'm looking for this to work, this might translate into a personal view that may be more tolerant and/or lenient with regards to the entire process.
And as critical as the end result of being allowed to purchase health care coverage is, I believe that it's not just that end result that matters. It's the entire experience, the human factor, of this process. So I look at it as a three-part process comprised of:
1. Finding out how it actually works.
2. Going through the initial sign up process, with emphasis on customer service help and how easy it is to understand this process.
3. Actually using my new plan to be a proactive health care consumer in order to keep from getting sick and being a burden on my family, friends, and society.
I hold the very strong belief that if the process of signing up for access to insurance through Obamacare isn't a good experience, it will taint the overall perspective of Obamacare in general. Remember, any of us who have dealt with insurance companies, with or without pre-existing conditions, know how frustrating and time consuming it is. It can also be very frightening and very confusing. Let's see how Obamacare compares.
I also know that not everyone will experience what I experience when going through this process. Just as when anyone calls any customer service representative, all calls will vary from awful to wonderful. Some of it depends on the tone that is set by the company and it's management team and a lot of it depends on the representative and the caller vs. what kind of a day they're both having, right? But this is my personal experience and I will report on it alone, from my personal experience only. Remember, I'm approaching this as a naïve consumer, so hold your opinion of what I should have said or done as this is my experience and my perspective. The only agenda I hold is that I need this to work for my family and me. I want this process to work.
And so, I will immerse myself into the first process of finding out how it works for my situation and I will take you with me on this journey. Let's go.