Help me find insurance
February 18, 2016 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Demographic info: Male, 31, Oregon Complications: Semi chronic joint problems, somewhat unstable employment

I've had some knee and ankle problems for the past few years, but it seemed like things were pretty manageable. Unfortunately, in the past week things quickly changed from being slightly limited range of motion to almost immobile. I'm willing to face that I need to sort this all out, but I'm not sure how.

I've been avoiding getting insurance because when ever I looked at plans it seems like they were either designed to be budget plans where I would get screwed on things that require ongoing care or premium plans that I wasn't sure I would be able to afford in the long term. Considering all this, rolling the dice and just living with it (until I could find more consistent work or a job with better benefits) felt like a reasonable choice. Are there any plans that seem like they would fit well for this situation? Am I missing something?
posted by 0bs01337 to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
What's your income?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:51 AM on February 19, 2016

Less lazy answer: if you are not currently working (its unclear to me) or if you expect your income for the year to be lower than ~$14,000 (133% of the Federal Poverty Level) then you should be able to get Medicaid in Oregon. Whatever your income is, you can get personalized advice from a health care agent through
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:02 AM on February 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm not in Oregon and plans vary by state. But I'm in your situation. Mid-30s, lots of chronic problems with need to see specialists. Lots of sporadic employment. Make about 18K a year. I got a great plan on Obamacare Marketplace, silver-level, blue cross, pay about $15 a month after federal subsidies. I can see specialists for just $10 co-pay, no referral needed, great coverage for ER, surgery and hospitalizations too. If you're making 30-45K though, subsidies really tail off and coverage does get more expensive, FYI.
posted by caveatz at 7:12 AM on February 19, 2016

One thing not being mentioned here is open enrollment, which has ended for this year. So, unless you qualify for one of several exemptions, you can't actually sign up through the exchanges right now. This is designed to avoid exactly your situation (people delaying the purchase of insurance until they have a health problem they want to address). This website will walk you through whether you might qualify for an exemption to enroll late:

Particularly relevant to your situation would be if you qualify from Medicaid (income lower than $14,000), which you can apply for any time.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:39 AM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Employment clarification:
It's tough to estimate income. I'm working through a temp agency. When I'm working (I am now, but I'm worried my recent absences will impact that) I'm doing ok ($15 an hr, 40hrs a week), but assignments only seem to last a couple months before work queues dry up.
posted by 0bs01337 at 10:48 AM on February 19, 2016

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