HR Administration

Scott Bolohan: The ACA Consumer

By Rick Bell

Feb. 17, 2015

Scott Bolohan
Freelance Writer

Scott Bolohan is a freelance writer who lived in Chicago until early this year, when he moved to England to attend school at Oxford. This is the tale of one millennial’s reluctant adventure into using Obamacare.

“There’s nothing cool about health insurance. It won’t get you followers or likes or help you on Tinder. When I hang out with my friends, we don’t talk about our copays and premiums.

“To be honest, health insurance was always a bit of an afterthought. Or at least something I thought I didn’t need. I freelance for a living, which means I have all sorts of flexibility and get to do exactly what I love, but it also means I don’t get health insurance.

“And that wasn’t a big deal. I had only been to the doctor once in the last couple years, so the $150 for a visit was significantly less than what I would have paid monthly for insurance. It was a risk I was willing to take, especially on my rather modest income. After all, I was healthy and active and young. You don’t think about not being that way — ever.

“When Obamacare was unveiled, I figured it was something I should do. Then I sort of forgot about it. On the final day of enrollment, I finally decided to enroll, mostly because my mom worriesabout me.

“Enrolling wasn’t perfect. The process was confusing and, at the end, I wasn’t even really sure what I had just done. I didn’t have a primary-care physician and the one assigned to me ended up not having an office near my apartment. It was reassuring to have, even if health insurance was something I didn’t anticipate needing.

“But health insurance is one of those things you don’t think you need until you do. I hurt my ankle playing baseball. Since I had insurance, I decided to go to the hospital. It’s a good thing I did; I broke the fibula. When I went back two weeks later, they told me I would need a plate and five screws put in my ankle. My summer was ruined. But my life wasn’t. Without Obamacare my hospital visits, surgery and physical therapy would have been around $30,000. That’s a sum I would be spending years … trying to pay back.” 


Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director.

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