Covered CA is California’s version of Obamacare. And I’ll be honest upfront: I like Obamacare. I was hoping for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system if Congress insisted on the individual mandate, but I still like Obamacare.
I’d been avoiding dealing with the entire issue of health insurance because I really love the insurance I’ve had for the past 15 years. I’ve been in denial that I’m going to lose that insurance when my divorce is finalized.
But there were ads all over television and radio that the absolute deadline to apply for Obamacare was March 31. My understanding was that if you didn’t apply by that date, you’d be out of luck until November.
Guess whose divorce won’t be finalized until anywhere between May and October?
So do I risk a major medical event in that time or do I play it safe?
Safety first, ‘cuz no way do I want to tempt fate.
I went on the Covered CA website to get serious about finding an insurance plan. Check. Found one that’s not great but is affordable. Then I went through the application process. It took me an hour and three tries because there wasn’t very much explanation for a whole lot of questions.
For example, it asked household size, but the two kids who are members of my household will continue to get awesome health insurance through their father’s employment. So do I include them or not? Finally figured it out and eventually hit the submit button.
Only to be told that I’m so poor I qualify for MediCal and my application for that is pending.
But that’s not what I wanted!
The next screen demanded verification I simply don’t have, like court papers showing support ordered. Dude, I thought I was applying for Obamacare that I’d have to pay for, I didn’t ask for MediCal.
I should’ve found an in-person coverage counselor and done the application that way. I really didn’t think the damn thing would imperiously override the boxes I checked, or that income trumped everything else.
Two days after my application fiasco, I caught a news segment that announced more refinements to the process. Now, thank The Powers That Be, there will be wiggle room for people who experience a “qualifying life event.” And divorce is specifically listed.
Once my divorce decree is signed by a judge, I’ll find a coverage counselor and see if I can get something besides MediCal. But I guess it remains an option if I don’t meet the income guidelines.
I’d pour a glass of wine, but I’m afraid one glass won’t be enough and rehab probably isn’t covered.