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What Would Your Life Look Like Without Health Insurance?

On Saturday, my 19-year-old son came home from college for Christmas break. On Monday, he had his wisdom teeth pulled, not the sort of thing you want to spend your holiday doing, but necessary nevertheless.

I Don't Want to Wear the Other Guy's Shoes. I'd Rather Help Him Buy New Ones.

I Don’t Want to Wear the Other Guy’s Shoes.
I Want to Help Him Buy New Ones.

Fortunately, we are covered by my former health plan under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which requires that employer-sponsored health plans offer employees and their families temporary extension of health coverage if they leave voluntarily like I did, or are laid off or fired.

My temporary COBRA coverage through my former employer, IATSE Local 16, expires in June 2014 at which time we get to test the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare.”

Lucky to Have Health and Health Insurance

I consider myself and my family among the lucky ones. The cost for wisdom teeth extraction runs approximately $2,200. We’ll pay $625. Of course, we’re also paying a pretty high monthly COBRA premium. As long as the family stays healthy, we’ll end up deficit spending on health care this year.

It’s a small price to pay.

Once we’re covered through Obamacare, I hope we’re among the folks whose insurance premiums end up subsidizing the people who really need health care.

Like patients with pre-existing conditions who could not qualify for health insurance before the ACA, or people with cancer whose insurance premiums shot through the roof once they were diagnosed, or poor people who can’t afford to see a doctor.

I don’t want to be in their shoes. But someday I might be.

And it’s good to know that for now, there will be health care coverage no matter what life brings.

Photo Credit: agroffman via Compfight cc

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About the Author:
FX Crowley is a Public Affairs and Labor Relations Specialist, and former 15-year Business Manager of IATSE Local 16, San Francisco. A third-generation San Franciscan, FX can break down any football game from Pop Warner to the Pros and analyze it for hours. Contact to learn more ››