Open Enrollment Deadline is Dec. 15

By Tami Warren

If you have the audacity to get sick, have a family member with the arrogance to be born in any manner other than completely healthy or simply want to be proactive in maintaining health and well-being, you need health insurance. Even then, familiarize yourself with where your respective medical bills and credit scores stand, those controlling executive power at the present moment, think health care is not a human right, but a right to revenue. Set aside time to review your credit reports with the 3 bureaus. Most importantly remember, December 15 is the deadline to enroll in a health care plan.

Republicans recently ran for office manufacturing the impression of supporting coverage for pre-existing conditions, when in fact, the vast majority of Republicans actively tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and limit Medicaid expansion. Why are Republicans trying to mislead Americans? The answer is Americans got a taste of health care coverage, and liked it.

Collection agencies report negative collection items to credit bureaus, which may send a credit score plummeting to its death. Credit scores impact a number of significant elements, the ability to purchase a home, rent an apartment and even secure employment – the catch-22 of seeking employment to pay bills, only to be denied employment, due in part to poor credit scores. Removing credit reporting errors, credit identity issues, or resolving credit disputes is a time-consuming process.

Long ago, as a freshman in college, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, I was encouraged to apply for credit cards at a sea of tables set-up on campus, receiving whatever free gift was being offered, like a backpack or a 4/20 survival kit. At 18 years old, successfully managing credit cards was not my forte. Thankfully I matured, as did my respect and understanding of what credit represents. Having credit under control is more than simply a good feeling, it provides tangible options. Control is perhaps an illusion, as events will happen you don’t control, expensive events, requiring MRI’s or surgery. Securing health insurance is a costly labyrinth in America. I learned firsthand a great deal of time is required to procure health insurance if you don’t have good employer based coverage; and credit repair it is not a quick online click and done exercise, as the marriage between credit scores and medical bills can last longer than actual marriages. Mistakes are apparently more acceptable from a credit bureau versus a person; the Equifax security breach exposed the personal data of approximately 147 million, yet banks, landlords and employers still rely upon the almighty credit score.

It may take daily affirmation, but remind yourself that you are not purely defined by a credit score, some banks, landlords and employers will look at additional aspects. The  FICO Score 9 score is intended to lessen the impact of medical debt and health-care related debt to your credit score and includes rent payments in the scoring model. Keep in mind, the majority of lenders still rely upon the FICO 8 model when making valuations. VantageScore, founded in 2006 by the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, as a competitor to FICO, and may be utilized as well.

Affordable health care for all Americans needs to be attainable and transparent – no penalty for pre-existing conditions – no junk insurance policies – no family forced to choose medicine over groceries – no credit scores impacted by medical bills. All Americans deserve equal access to health care that is actually affordable.

Saturday, December 15th is the deadline to enroll in with

“If you want to die, don’t make a mistake and not quite kill yourself because the medical bills in America are hideous.” Robin Williams

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