Obamacare? I can live with it | TheUnion.com

Obamacare? I can live with it

I am 64 and love Obamacare. For seven years, only Health Net (HN) would insure me due to a small bunion. I was not interested in unnecessary foot surgery on my nickel with no guarantee from HN of a lower premium, so my premiums continued to climb each year, reaching $1,300 a month in 2013. The deductible was $4,000 for in-network providers (much higher for out of network).

Most local docs did not take the HN PPO, so I paid out-of-pocket and spent about $3,000 in addition to premiums for a total of $18,600 in 2013. HN paid out a total of $1,600, primarily from a minor surgery I had in Walnut Creek in order to get in-network coverage.

My Anthem premiums are $734 per month (no subsidy) with a $500 in-network deductible. The out-of-network deductible is only $1,000 higher than HN was for in-network providers. There still aren't many docs on the plans, but I am much better off. It's a better policy; preventative care and labs are covered at 100 percent, and it has better emergency and catastrophic coverage. Five dollar co-pays for meds is another $500 savings on top of $6,792/year premium savings. I save enough each month to self-pay docs if I need to. I can live with that.

Shirl Mendonca

Penn Valley

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