Yesterday I got a letter in the mail from my insurance provider, telling me that I need to go online to learn about how Obamacare will affect my insurance. It said that starting on Oct 1, 2013, I’ll be able to start searching for an alternate plan. I’m not clear, however, if I need to switch plans (mandatory) or if I can stay within my existing, “grandfathered” plan. (I believe it is the latter, but I need to verify.)
I am happy to know that preexisting conditions will be covered if and when I switch plans; in the past, this has been a huge problem for freelancers and others who buy insurance independently. (Insurers won’t cover preexisting conditions, which means that you’re denied coverage if you try to switch plans. The worst situation happens when you transition from freelancing into an employee job with benefits — thus cancelling your plan — and then switch from a job with benefits back to full-time freelancing, thus needing to re-enroll in a plan, but learning that you won’t be covered for the same conditions that you used to get covered for, because now they’re “preexisting conditions.” I know freelancers who keep dual insurance plans while they work in order to avoid this.)
For the ladies: I do not think there are any provisions that help self-employed women get maternity coverage. That’s a shame, since many health plans for self-employed people / freelancers do not offer maternity coverage. The average cost of delivering a baby is about $15,000 – $20,000, which is similar to the cost of adoption.
So … are you switching health insurance plans with the implementation of Obamacare? Let me know in the comments.