If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Until your plan is mandated out of existence, which is exactly what happened to Pattie Curran, a North Carolina mother of three. Pattie says that she has witnessed her family’s health insurance coverage slip away with the implementation of the mandates of the “Affordable” Care Act.
Two of Pattie’s sons were born with a rare bone marrow dysfunction syndrome combined with a secondary mitochondrial disease, which require continuous specialists visits, treatments, and pricey medications. Pattie’s family has been covered by a private health insurance plan provided by her husband’s employer of 9 years, a plan which Pattie says her family considered to be affordable prior to Obamacare and under which they were never denied coverage of a single medical claim.
Pattie recently sat down with me for an on-camera interview in which she describes the first indication of major changes to her family’s healthcare costs. One medication, required to protect her son’s kidneys from damage, suddenly more than doubled in price from a $131.75 co-pay for a 3-month supply, a price Pattie says remained the same from 2005-2010, to $281.47 in 2011.
Pattie further relates feeling “shocked and horrified” as her family continued to see increases in the price of the prescription, reaching its present day out-of-pocket cost of $708.00 for a 3-month supply. She asks, reasonably, “How is that affordable when, before Obamacare, no paperwork, $131.00 for a 3-month supply and now it’s $708.00?”
Watch the full video here:
After 2011, the Currans experienced further increases in their premiums, deductibles, and medication co-pays. The situation has created a heavy financial burden for their family, forcing them to open several lines of credit in order to obtain their medications. Despite paying cash for their out-of-pocket expenses whenever possible, Pattie says that her family went from having zero credit card debt to over $60,000.00 in just a few years, all of it medically related.
Pattie indicates that her husband’s employer has been forced to seek further cuts to the company’s health care package in order to offset the expenses of the Obamacare mandates. Prior to their 2014 open enrollment Pattie received a notice stating that, due to the additional mandates going into effect for 2014, the company’s healthcare costs were expected to increase by $7.4 million above the $64 million paid by the company in 2013. She has now learned that her children’s life-saving compounded medications will be dropped from coverage altogether this month.
“People have been infuriated with me because I continually say that it is immoral to steal money from my family to give people “free” stuff,” says Pattie. “It’s immoral to push my family further and further into debt so that other people can benefit.”
The Currans will be required to pay the full retail price for their sons’ medications in order to obtain them after September 15, despite requests to their pharmacy benefits management company for an extension of the compounded coverage as a medical necessity and written pleas from the family’s Mitochondrial disease specialist. When asked, Pattie says that she does not yet know how she will purchase the medications due to the fact that her family has now reached their credit limit.
The family fears that they may soon lose their employer-provided health insurance completely, forcing them onto Obamacare exchanges under which they would be denied access to their current specialists. Having read the Affordable Care Act legislation prior to its passage, Pattie says that it was evident that the mandates would generate exactly the detrimental impacts that she is now experiencing. She asserts that the ultimate goal of the legislators who adopted the Affordable Care Act was the extinction of private health insurance companies, giving rise to a single-payer system of substandard healthcare.