Getting Signed Up: Judith from Texas

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By Consumers Union on Monday, April 14th, 2014

Judith works as a freelance writer in Weatherford, Texas. Through her part-time job she received catastrophic insurance, but it didn’t cover any preventive care and only covered a few thousand dollars a year in costs if a major illness or injury occurred.

She decided to look into her options under the Affordable Care Act and was disappointed at first. Fortunately for Judith, the story gets better.

When she tried to get on to HealthCare.gov in late 2013 the site was too busy for her to look at her options. She didn’t try the website again until just before the enrollment deadline. “I procrastinated because I just knew there was no way I was going to be able to afford it,” Judith said.

She called the HealthCare.gov hotline and wasn’t able to get the help she needed, but Judith persisted and created an account on HealthCare.gov in March. She got stuck on how to report her income – as a freelance writer her income differs from year to year. She calculated an estimate that she is comfortable with, saying “I figured out an income that I thought was realistic and a guess, but not out of the ballpark.” Judith will be able to go in and change her income throughout the year if anything changes so that she does not get penalized.

Judith was able to get tax credit subsidies to help pay for the cost of her insurance. She chose a plan that will cost $130 a month and has good coverage. She also chose to purchase a dental plan. “I can’t tell you what a great feeling it is,” said Judith. “I’ve got good insurance for the first time in a decade.”

Though she had to work through several kinks in the system, Judith is optimistic. “Next year is going to be so much easier – this was the big hurdle,” she said. “I signed up for health insurance and I came away with that great feeling that someone is looking out for me. And I thought, I’m going to pay back that investment by staying healthy and working hard this year.”

Judith utilized HealthLawHelper.org as she looked at her options. You can also check out your options at HealthLawHelper.org and HealthTaxCreditTool.org.

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