Getting Signed Up: Richie from North Carolina
By Consumers Union on Thursday, February 27th, 2014
When Richie was laid off from his IT job four years ago, he lost more than just a regular paycheck – he also lost health insurance for his family. Richie’s former employer subsidized COBRA for a little while, but when the subsidies stopped, Richie’s health insurance status became uninsured.
Like many Americans, he had a hard time finding permanent work in his field so for the last two years Richie has been working as a TV extra. But part-time acting doesn’t often come with employer-sponsored health insurance.
Richie’s wife, a massage therapist, was left in a similar situation with no health insurance offered through her job, so the pair have been uninsured for two years. “Thankfully these past couple of years we haven’t needed a doctors care other than catching a cold,” Richie said.
Then came Obamacare, and new options for Richie and his wife.
They checked out HealthCare.gov and found they qualify for large subsidies based on their income. “It was great knowing that I can now afford to have insurance once again,” said Richie.
The site had a few glitches, and they called the hotline for help. Though it took a while to work through, Richie and his wife were finally able to pick a health plan. They chose a silver plan and will only pay $43 a month in premiums after their $721/month tax credit.
“The peace of mind in and of itself is priceless to me,” said Richie. “My wife and I are covered.”