Guest Blogger: Vance Lobe, Heart Attack Survivor
It’s been almost one year now since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges were implemented and I thought it was time to reflect on how this has affected my life.
I am a two time heart attack survivor, starting with the first one about five and a half years ago. I was gainfully employed at the time and had, what I thought, was good insurance through my employer. I only learned after the attack that it wasn’t as good as I thought, as a lot of things slipped through the cracks.
I lost my job through layoffs just prior to the second attack and was fortunate to at least have the COBRA insurance, even though, it caused serious financial hardship, as I was unemployed and had a large financial obligations for this care.
For a year and a half I was unemployed without any healthcare insurance, as I was “uninsurable” due to my pre-existing heart condition.
During this time, every time I felt a little pain or just not feeling right, I would think about what would happen to me if I had another heart attack without any insurance. I couldn’t even afford "well care" as I was still unemployed and I made too much on unemployment to take advantage of any subsidies for any of the medicines that I needed or any other assistance.
That all changed this past January when I was finally able to get insurance through ACA. I am able to receive “well care” for almost nothing, receive my life prolonging medicines for free and I no longer stress about my health as I know the insurance will cover the balance of my care in case something else happens. While I am once again employed, I have chosen to continue to stay in the program, as it’s a good plan for me.