Several years ago, I wrote about the Affordal Healthcare Act. It had just passed, I didn't know how it would affect me. I was aware that I was the target market - the person that was middle class, without employer insurance, and couldn't afford to pay for it myself.
Some insurance companies have considered me uninsurable. Four years ago, I looked at buying insurance privately and found one company willing to cover me for catastrophic only: $800/month. That was just me, and that didn't cover any basic medical care. I decided if I was diagnosed with cancer or in a car accident, I would just have to accept I might not get care. And I definitely couldn't afford basic healthcare, so I just didn't go to doctors.
Life happened. I got insurance by being BJ's domestic partner through his work. (I should have written about the panic of signing that paper, but I didn't. Maybe I'll do an entry on it soon.) That helped a ton. I went to the dentist, got work done, had oral surgery, and even thought about getting a physical done. (Never happened. Not worth the emotional stress it caused.)
Then in April, he decided to leave his job. He wanted the time to work on his own business, and the only reason he stayed was because they offered him health insurance. They fired their CEO, and the new CEO decided that cutting insurance to part time employees would save them money. So, we went looking for new insurance.
"Obama Care" was in effect, and there was a public market place to find insurance.
Going through Utah, we couldn't get insured together, because we are not legally married. Utah doesn't have domestic partner laws, but the federal government does. Through healthcare.gov, we were able to get on a plan together.
Because pre-existing conditions no longer exist, and no medical exam needed to happen to get insurance, I found insurance for just me, fairly good coverage for $180/month. (MUCH cheaper than $800/month, and it covers well-check visits and has a deductible of $2000. I will probably never hit that, but if I did... $2000 is a doable amount for me to pay in a year.)
Based on my 2013 income, I qualified for some subsidies. Based on my projected 2014 income, I would have had to pay it all back, so I didn't use it.
Our plan together is $350/month. Same coverage as the plan I found on my own, but a family deductible of $4000.
I don't know what will happen in the future. In the present, I have health insurance, and I am again considering getting a physical done. I've even looked up doctors covered by my insurance and called a few to "interview" them. (Ain't nobody sticking their hand up there if I don't feel VERY comfortable before hand.)