As many of you know, my mother-in-law from a foreign country is mid way through her process of immigrating to the U.S. and becoming a citizen. She has her greencard but now must stay here for the majority of five years before she can apply for her citizenship and she is just starting year three and will be about halfway done sometime this winter.
Healthcare was a big issue for us when we were discussing whether to attempt this or not. She has healthcare back home but it would mean flying home every time there was a problem. Not only was this expensive, if might not even be possible for serious health issues. We were looking into buying an insurance policy for her to cover catastrophic health events and just paying cash for her routine health issues. This was an expensive option however it was the only option at least until Obamacare intervened.
Once Obamacare was online, I along with millions of others suffered through months of website errors trying to get quotes on what it would cost us. Because we don't qualify for "aide", we had a lot of hoops to go through first before we were able to apply for healthcare. We had to first prove she wasn't eligible for Medicaid or state aid which was surprisingly difficult since both require citizenship. After months of filling out more forms, submitting proof and getting denied, we were able to go back to the Obamacare website, which by this time was working a bit better, and five months after I started, was finally able to get her signed up for a healthcare plan.
We have a high deductible plan that is quite a bit better than a plan we would have been able to purchase privately as far as benefits go. (As a result of Obamacare, it is now impossible to buy plans privately as they are no longer available for non-citizens.) However, it still had a pretty hefty price tag on it and I know in my area, one of the poorest in the midwest, it was out of reach of the majority of the population. After the first year of paying the premiums, when it came time for renewal, the premiums went up by 50%. We paid the premiums for a second year with still not a claim on them and guess what, I just got a notice that the premiums had gone up another 25% this year which puts it at 2/3rds of our monthly home mortgage bill, by far our biggest single expense.
I always laugh at the names politicians come up with for some of the legislation they pass like the Freedom Act which was all about giving up freedom. I think the Affordable Care Act is turning out to be just as much of a misnomer as the Freedom Act. Hopefully we will be able to afford the next two increases for my mother-in-law's health insurance until she becomes a citizen.