tobiGuest post by Tobi Hill-Meyer

Sometime last year I had to stop my insurance because it was too expensive for me to afford. As a “budget plan” it was just barely within my grasp, but then I discovered all the ridiculous restrictions. Even though I was paying about $4,000 per year, there was a $5,000 annual limit. It seemed to cover wellness visits and preventative care, but anything other than that and I’d be paying huge out of pocket amounts. So I stocked up on estrogen, cancelled my coverage, and hoped I didn’t get sick before the Affordable Care Act kicked in.

Starting this January, I’ve been on a plan that’s even cheaper, and somehow seems to cover more. This week I found out just how much more. My doctor had switched me to injectible estrogen, which I’ve never been on before, so I didn’t know what to expect – price tag wise. When the pharmacy said $140 I balked. Maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds, I thought to myself as I tried to do the math in my head.

“Hmm, how many months does that work out to?,” I asked.

“Oh that’s just for one month,” she mistakenly told me, raising my anxiety even more.

I was upset.”What, that can’t be right?! Are you sure you ran my insurance?”

She replied, “yeah, it would cost $240 without insurance, with you’re insurance it brings it down to $140.”

We went back and forth for a while until I realized they were somehow running my old insurance from last year. As soon as they ran my new insurance it popped up with a $10 co-pay. I sighed in relief. And it turns out it’s for a 5 month supply! Honestly, I’ve been worrying about how I was going to pay this monthly premium all 12 months out of the year, with no help from an employer.

I know it isn’t perfect, but I am very grateful for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, because now I can afford the medical care I need in order to be my authentic self.

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Tobi Hill-Meyer made her film making debut, winning an Award for Emerging Filmmaker of the year and being named #3 in Velvet Park Media’s list of the 25 Most Significant Queer Women of 2010. She is a multiracial trans woman with over a decade experience working with feminist and LGBTQ organizations on a local, state, and federal level. She’s since has turned her focus to media analysis and productions. As a writer, producer, and filmmaker, she is a founding member and major contributor to the media collective, Handbasket Productions.