Google+ Reflections for the Obamacare Deadline by a Romneycare Nurse

Reflections for the Obamacare Deadline by a Romneycare Nurse

margaret-reeve-pahani.jpgI am Margaret Reeve Panahi, am a nurse, and live in Massachusetts. I was working as a nurse practitioner as a primary care practitioner (PCP) in a public health center when Romneycare was established. I can say that it helped tremendously, both for access to care for the patients, and fewer tragically overwhelming cases for the practitioners that could have been prevented, or lessened, if the patients had been able to come in earlier. It was heartwarming to see the changes. 

I am no longer practicing because my husband has a serious genetic illness that has led to many surgeries, unpredictable and serious hospitalizations, including a kidney transplant about five years ago. He now has Medicare, but still needs to buy supplemental insurance for both hospitalizations and prescriptions. We applied for ACA insurance and have been given subsidies for both of his non-Medicare insurances, and my individual insurance, as well. At this point, we are saving about $1,000.00 per month in medical bills, with insurance and co-pays together. We are very grateful. More grateful than we can say. The process is not done yet though because Massachusetts had bad problems with the technological aspects of the system, so we are on temporary care, until a final enrollment can be done. We will need some of the resources and information listed below when we make our enrollment decision. 

romney-obamacare.jpgOur state is working on further reforms to the original Romneycare law. We are looking to improve it and learn from what has happened with cost and patient health care outcomes. As we continue to refine our system we have realized that access to care is necessary and thus we continue to study and make choices moving forward. Some groups are working for a single-payer system to be enacted here, like what went into law in Vermont recently. We also have a large health care for profit lobby from the high-tech medical devices companies, private insurance and pharmaceutical groups who work to protect their interests. This is the same debate that we went in with while into forming the ACA. 

My experience is that the world did not collapse when we increased health care access, and in fact, health care has been improved. The information below is for finding out about how to know what Obamacare does and doesn’t do, and what that will mean you and your loved ones.

Information about the ACA: how to get it, how to choose it, and other questions about “Obamacare”.

The final date to enroll is today, March 31, 2014. You can only enroll online at this point, it is too late to apply with a paper application. Exceptions will be made for people who create profiles on the site by midnight tonight, but cannot complete the application due to technical or personal reasons beyond your control. 

The primary government ACA site from is

Basic intro about how to choose a plan

The easiest and simplest way to understand what is involved is to go to the CVS web site. It has calculators from the Kaiser Family Foundation to do some math calculations and then links directly to the ACA site. I have no financial or any other connection with CVS, I just found the pamphlet and thought That I would pass on the info. In the article from the Washington post, the writers also recommend the Kaiser tools. 

Specific questions:

1. For people under 26 if you parents have insurance, in college, working individuals who want a catastrophic basic coverage plan.

"Nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans can pay less than $100 per month for Marketplace coverage. 2/3 of uninsured young adults can pay less than $100 per month. You may even find health insurance for as little as $50 per month. See what you can save." 

2. What to do if your state doesn’t have expanded medicaid? How to find out if your state has not expanded, and how to get insurance anyway. 

3. How to find local help in your state, by state, city, and zip code. Check with local community health centers, and your state’s healthcare marketplace site. 

4. How to find insurance in your state if you don’t want to be in the marketplace, or you want to compare prices of insurances inside and outside the ACA.

5. What if you don’t sign up and what are the fees? This also shows alternative plans that are exempt and acceptable as coverage such as Medicare and VA insurance.

Other sources for information:

A1. Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies: Study by DAN MANGAN, CNBC 

A2. Obamacare subscribers: Beware of high deductibles by WENDELL POTTER, Center for Public Integrity 

A3. Everything you need to know about life under Obamacare  by SARAH KLIFF and EZRA KLEIN, The Washington Post 


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