Article Talk: Hoping for Health Care Before, During and After Cancer

Started by Scubatammy, March 27, 2017
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March 27, 2017
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When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I also had the high deductible, low premium health insurance. My husband and I chose that type of plan years before because we were both healthy and couldn't afford anything else. I also stashed away money in a health savings account so when my diagnosis came we had enough to cover the $5,000 deductible. The insurance turned out to be amazing...Once I met the deductible they covered 100% of my treatments including chemo, surgery and radiation. They squawked about one MRI but the hospital ended up absorbing the cost, saying they thought it was important I have it. Overall I'd give my insurer an A+ rating. My treatment lasted about 8 months, but of course those 8 months stretched over into the next calendar year so I ended up meeting my deductible two years in a row. I continued to work through my treatment and kept contributing to my HSA so once again I had the money when I needed it. I'm about to celebrate the 5th anniversary of my last radiation treatment! I'm grateful that I had insurance when I needed it and was disciplined enough to save money for that rainy day I knew would come. Unfortunately because of Obamacare I was not able to purchase a high deductible plan for 2017 - Here in PA our health insurance choices were limited to just 6 plans offered by only two insurers and not one of them is considered a HDHP even though my deductible is $4,500. To add insult to injury, my premium has doubled in cost. Because it's not considered a HDHP I won't be able to contribute to my HSA this year. I'm not worried...I have enough stashed away to last for some time...but something has got to change so that everyone can access quality care they can afford. Revising the rules regarding HSAs so more people can take advantage of them is a start. Congress needs to get their act together and reach a compromise to help all Americans. Yes, we need to help those who are struggling to afford care, but what about folks like me? I scrimped and saved to pay for health insurance because I thought it was important and I saved money for an emergency just like the experts recommend and now I'm saddled with an amazingly expensive insurance plan that is not what I would have chosen on the free market.
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