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Political rhetoric aside, Affordable Care Act works for all ages

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I have recently changed my health insurance policies by using the government websites that were provided through the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). I changed one policy in Minnesota using the MNsure website and one in North Dakota (for my son in Fargo) using the Health Care.gov national web site. I deliberately did everything through the websites. I used the help chat rooms built into the web application for advice, but everything was completed by me.

This took some patience and I did have to wait on two occasions until the next day because of fixes that were being made in the main program. On both of these occasions, the tech people in the chat room were helpful and pleasant and gave me good advice.

The MNsure website worked much faster than the Health Care.gov website because it was obvious that Minnesota had used its federal funds to enhance the federal program. This was not the easiest program to use, but it was also not the hardest program I have ever used. If you are interested, my computer skills are used mostly to send emails, write letters on word programs, use Facebook and play numerous types of solitaire games. I am not a high tech guy.

Here are my results. I was not eligible for any extra financial assistance, so I looked at the same policies that can be purchased directly from the individual companies. I was able to choose from four different policies from four different companies which varied in price from $287/month to almost $700/month, depending on what exactly I wanted in a policy.

I was able to compare four different policies from three companies on the website and I chose one that cost $315/month. This was a high deductible policy similar to the one I already had. The main difference was my old policy had a higher deductible. The policy I got cost $125/month less and will save me $1,500/year.

I sent in my first payment for Jan. 1 and I am on the policy. I do not have to wait for two weeks for a nurse to come to my home and poke, prod and ask personal questions, because they have to take me, regardless of my health.

On my son’s policy, I found out that even though he is single and working full time, he was eligible for some financial help. He was able to choose from over 60 policies and he chose one that had lower deductibles and additional coverage over his present policy.

His policy cost him $70/month and will save him $1,050/year. He is also immediately eligible.

Now I have been told that I am not supposed to like ObamaCare because it is really a bad thing. It seems, however, when I put the political rhetoric aside and look at what factually happened to me, this position makes no sense. My son and I have $2,600 in our pockets and better health insurance through a reputable private company. When I am looking for health insurance, that is all I want. I really don’t care if I am politically correct.

Anyone who has an individual or family policy or is looking for one would be a fool not to go on the website and compare policies. Most of the bugs have been worked out of the program and at worst you may have to wait a day and try again. For a low tech guy like me, that seems like par for the course.

I was very surprised at how much financial help there is available that goes directly to lowering policy costs. I was also impressed as to how I could compare, in plain language, different policies from different companies without having to talk to two or three different agents.

If you want to, you can go through the website and find out if you’re eligible for lower costs and still name an agent you would like to work with.

Obviously, I am going to be very disappointed if political ideologues try to shut down this wonderful program to “help” me out.

I thought if I could show you what actually happened to someone, it may encourage people to try it and make up their own minds. I personally feel that both my son and I have to have health insurance, because of high medical costs and the high probability of going bankrupt simply because I got sick.

I’m thinking that saving a great deal of money every month should successfully cross party lines. — Donald Johnson, Detroit Lakes

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