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Kirsten Ozimek's picture

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Health insurance is a necessity for our family, not just a precaution.

Unlike so many other families, we are thankfully covered under my husband’s health insurance at work, but 2 of our amazing 3 children have special needs.

Both of our special needs kids depend on life changing therapies. Our son has two kinds of therapy (occupational and hearing loss) and daughter has speech therapy and mental health therapy. These treatments are essential, but having more than a dozen appointments in a month can be costly when they all have a co-pay.

Then we got some good news from our insurance carrier—that thanks to the ACA, as of January 2014, co-pays will count toward our deductible.

This is a big deal for our family! The deductible has increased, but in the past those co-pays were just thrown away. We had to pay this money, but it didn’t count for anything.  So even though our deductible has increased, we will still save money because our copays will have evened out in August.

Prior to this change, medical costs averaged 10-20% of our monthly budget. Now, from September- December, we won’t have any co-pays.

To have the limits raised, and to have no lifetime limit, is also incredibly important to my family. It means my son will be able to get a series of surgeries he needs in the next two years to help correct facial deformities are essential for his life. Our son will be having procedures from the age of 6 to 14.

Before the Affordable Care Act, a healthcare company could have declined to cover him because of that, but now he can have the surgeries without us worrying about lifetime caps. It is not like I am buying cosmetic surgery; it is essential for his mental and physical health.

Getting our children healthy is a priority, but some of the costs are staggering. We have often had to reassess our priorities, like putting off buying a house. Families just shouldn’t have to go through this kind of strain just to make sure their kids are healthy.

I think the ACA is a complicated issue, and every family is different. However, “Obamacare” is already helping so many families, like mine, in huge ways.

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