When I left my husband of almost 30 years in 2006, he dumped me from our family’s Blue Cross/Anthem health insurance plan. I’ve been in health insurance hell ever since.

I run a very small business consisting of me. During the decades I worked as a nurse practitioner & freelance writer while raising our family, I paid little attention to health insurance. Don’t ask why; if I had that answer I’d have answers to a lot more dumb things I did back when.

When he dumped me-without warning-I scrambled to find a policy with Anthem and did; my first policy cost about $350.00/month. Within 18 months or so, that policy climbed up to $550.00/month; a policy that came with a $5000.00 deductible. I paid that sum until 2011 when the stress of putting $550.00 on credit cards caused me to consider going without health insurance. A RN practitioner doesn’t go without  health insurance–at least not without causing more stress–so I called Anthem. Was there another policy that wouldn’t cause me to financially hemorrhage every month?  That’s when I was told my policy was no longer offered because the ‘pool’  consisted mostly of sick people. Really? So I asked the Anthem agent helping me why Anthem didn’t pass that information along to this longtime client/consumer? He reminded me that saving money was my job, not Anthem’s. Oh. He did find me a policy for #397.00/month. I was grateful.

I am a Baby Boomer, aging as gracefully as I can. I’m blessed with good health that I take credit for, mostly.  I’ve always believed in preventing disease. I exercise consistently and avoid those bad habits that cause many illnesses. However, you-know-what happens to healthy people too. Worrying about money I don’t have to pay for insurance that covers only catastrophic illnesses can get you sick quick.

ACA came charging just in the nick of time.  I am now paying about $79.00/month – a sum I don’t need to dump on my credit card – and my coverage is much better. Had this not been available, my $397.00 Anthem policy was increasing to $631.48 January 1, 2014.

Thank you President Obama for remembering where you came from and for caring for those who come from the same place. The middle class has a chance of  surviving because President Obama does care.

Here’s a snapshot of my new Anthem policy contrasted to my old Anthem policy.