I've had an interesting experience with the Affordable Care Act today. I don't post here often so I'm not sure how to set up the intro and the body of the post - read below the orange squiggle for the rest of the story.
I buy my own insurance and had planned to just keep it and not bother with buying anything on the exchange. It's been a decent plan with reasonable premiums and since I don't qualify for a subsidy, it didn't seem worth the hassle of changing. Yesterday I received a letter from my insurance company telling me that my plan actually does not meet the requirements of the new legislation but that I can keep it until 2015 anyway. When I called this morning, they wouldn't tell me what requirements were not met, just encouraged me to keep the plan and not worry about it and told me the government extended it so I didn't have to have a plan that met the requirements. When I asked what it would cost to upgrade to a compliant plan, they almost doubled my price and told me that I might find something cheaper on the exchange but that the networks were limited and I probably wouldn't be able to keep my doctor. So I go healthcare.gov, create an account, and look at the plans. And there it is: A plan that is better than the one I have now, with a large network that includes every doctor I've ever been to, for about $100/month less than I am currently paying for my non-compliant plan. And it took about 20 minutes of my time to set it all up.
I have to say, despite everything I've heard about the site, it was incredibly easy to navigate and everything went through right away. I am a huge supporter of the ACA because of the additional protections, but never thought I would benefit from it financially.
And the best part of the story is that the plan I am switching to is the one I wanted to purchase 4 years ago, when I first started buying my own insurance. It was the best plan with the best network but they turned me down for having a pre-existing condition (TMJ - transmandibular joint syndrome) and wouldn't insure me. So not only am I saving money, I am ending up with the insurance I wanted in the first place.
Something feels really right and fair about all of this.