I went on Federal employee disability in 2003, and Social Security Disability kicked in the following year (when Federal employees apply for
disability, they are required to apply for both). I have insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan (aka FEHB) and Medicare Part A
When Medicare informed me I was eligible for their coverage in 2004, I declined Part B as I already had FEHB coverage through the U.S. Office of
Personnel Management. There was no way I could afford both Part B and FEHB. and now, over 11 years later, I am finding this will cost me dearly, and
due to no fault of my own.
FEHB premiums for 2016 have skyrocketed so much that I am going to have to give it up. Only problem is, once one gives up FEHB coverage, the
government will not allow them to go back to it in the future if need be, regardless of the reason. Even for the lack of money!
If I sign up for Part B Medicare, I will be required to pay a 10% penalty for every year I went without it. This is even though I declined it because
I couldn't (and still can't) afford both FEHB and Medicare Part B.
I went to the NY health marketplace website and tried to get help, but no.....that didn't work out either. After a great deal of searching - as this
information is practically buried on that poorly-designed website - I make about $100 over the limit to qualify for a subsidy.
So, here I sit after hours of crying, not knowing what to do. As of January 1, 2016, I will be uninsured.
I took this long to look into my coverage for 2016 as I did not expect OPM to raise FEHB so much. My jaw dropped to the floor when I found that if I
keep my current insurance, I will be required for fork over about $48 extra each month, which is alot for someone on a fixed income.
I will have to give up the following:
Blood pressure - which I haven't started yet but my doctor wants me to take it. Can't afford to add to my expanding pile of drugs
Primary Care physician
Gastroenterologist (IBS and diverticulosis)
Cardiologist (don't have heart trouble but they're managing my risks for it)
Surgeon - I was going to have a consult in early December for weight loss and hernia surgery in 2016, but I will have to cancel that appt too
Re. my hernia - I have a hx of hernias due to several abdominal surgeries over the years, the first of which was for a borderline ovarian cancer. I
developed my first hernia five years after that surgery and my gallbladder surgery, which was a year after the hysterectomy. That first hernia nearly
killed me as it got strangulated. I had to have emergency surgery during which they removed a small portion of my small intestine. In 2011 I had
another hernia (incarcerated, not as bad as strangulated but bad enough). I'm on my third hernia, which is so large it can't get strangulated. But
so big that I look pregnant with twins - full term - on my left side. I'm sick of the looks I get from people because of that.
I don't see how long I can go without any of my medications - especially diabetic. It won't take long until I get sick and who knows how I will pay
for that. But I can't possibly afford this sky-high insurance. The funds just aren't there.
The government is basically penalizing me for being poor. The only people who benefit from the Un-Affordable Care Act are big pharma and health
If anyone out there has suggestions, I would appreciate it. I never felt so scared and have nobody to turn to for help. The government reps I spoke
to just didn't care. If they have hearts, they are as hard as a rock.
edit on 23-11-2015 by dianajune because: typo