By Eric Blair
We recently moved back to the mainland United States after ten years of traveling and living abroad. Our homeschooled kids are getting older and want more opportunities for learning, friendships, sports and entertainment.
Because the cost of living in America is significantly higher than we are used to, particularly the cost of healthcare, my wife renewed her nursing license in order to make extra income and provide our health insurance.
In other countries we simply paid for health services as we needed them. It was remarkably affordable. We even had our third child abroad at a nice private hospital, C-section for $3500. Unfortunately, using this “à la carte” approach to healthcare is against the law in the US and results in a fine.
Although my wife takes pride in being a great nurse, she hates to leave her family to go to work. That’s why she chose a 3-day-a-week schedule, working 12 hours a day, for a total of 36 hours a week. Despite working full time, her barely adequate employer-provided health insurance still costs us about $5200/year which is deducted from her pay.
Today we got a letter in the mail announcing that those benefits are being terminated. Apparently it’s against the law (Obamacare) for employers to provide insurance to workers who average less than 30 hours per week over a 12-month period.
We assumed Obamacare was awful, but we were still surprised to get this letter.
It may be true that my wife averaged less than 30 hours a week when measured over twelve months. Earlier this year we moved from Hawaii to Washington state, and my wife took a month off to handle logistics. She also takes the occasional unpaid vacation because we like to enjoy life.
We are now reevaluating our options. We will NOT be going to the “Exchange Marketplace” at Healthcare.gov. We may look into health share options.
And we are strongly considering leaving the US again.