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Health Access: Full Exposure - Strong Coverage for a Strong Family

Health Access: Full Exposure - Strong Coverage for a Strong Family

Lancaster Family Healthcare Story

First, some background. I'm Jason, and I live with my wife, Sara, and daughter, Margaret. Sara and I are both 34 and non-smokers. Margaret is 2 and definitely a non-smoker. 

Sara and I are also both self-employed small business owners.

While Margaret and I have no health issues, Sara has a pre-existing condition. In 2008, Sara was treated for a “mild” heart issue, specifically a super ventricular tachycardia (SVT). At the time, the procedure was recommended essentially because it “couldn't hurt” to get this issue done. It was a simple, low-risk procedure and was completed in a few hours.

However, what the doctors didn't tell us is that treatment for this problem (which was a problem in name only – Sara had no illness or issues) would make it impossible for her to obtain healthcare later in life.

Starting a Family

When Sara and I decided to begin a family – and to purchase healthcare that included maternity coverage – Sara's health applications were turned down due to her pre-existing heart condition. Since neither Sara or I had employer-sponsored health coverage, Sara was forced to join the Cover Colorado health plan in 2010. The monthly premium was significantly higher ($330 per month, as of November 2013) than the market rates at the time, and the annual deductible was substantial ($2000).

I was able to purchase health insurance from Kaiser, but did so on an open enrollment plan with a cost of $220 per month. This plan has a 20% coinsurance and a $2500 annual deductible.

When I added Margaret to my plan the cost increased from $220 to $660 per month. The coinsurance and annual deductible did not change.

Thus, the total monthly healthcare costs for the Lancaster family was $1000 (technically, a few dollars over, as all the totals have been rounded).

Colorado Health Exchange

Using the new Colorado Health exchange, Sara, myself, and Margaret were quoted $590.65 per month for a family plan. The individual annual deductible is lower ($1,750 per person, $3,500 per family), there is 25% coinsurance, and it's a “silver” plan (KP CO Silver), which seems like it should be an upgrade over existing policies.

What's more, the whole family will share the same policy. They can visit the same doctors (not all doctors would take Sara's insurance via Cover Colorado), use the same online health record management system via KP.org, etc.

The Moral of My Story

Through Connect for Health Colorado my family can save money and have a more comprehensive health plan that meets our needs thanks to Obamacare. 

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