Getting healthcare and health insurance has never been easy for a lot of us, and it is quite possible that the U.S. government could make the process a whole lot harder. Mr. Trump & certain members of Congress have announced plans to fully repeal or significantly amend the Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA & Obamacare).
- If you have health insurance, use it now.
- If you don’t have insurance, see if you’re eligible for Medicaid or Obamacare. If you can get it, use it now.
If you have health insurance, use it now.
All insurance plans under the ACA give you free wellness visits at least once a year. You can also get vaccines & other preventative care for free (such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and birth control). This is a great time to ensure that your health is okay. You want to affirm your health status while you can, and if any health problem is found, you have some time to follow up & deal with it. At the very least, get a fully comprehensive health checkup.
Think long term—prioritize the things that are expensive that may not be covered in the future, such as intense dental work, MRIs, expensive tests, etc. Lab work is another good idea. If you don’t know your family medical history, find our what you can, so that you know what you may need to prepare for in the future.
You should look into getting all your vaccines up to date! Shots aren’t fun, but there are so many reasons that now is the time:
- Being sick costs a LOT of money, preventing sickness costs a LOT less.
- If you don’t want to pay an office visit fee, you can get some vaccines at pharmacies.
- If you are traveling internationally, you may need to be able to prove your vaccination status. (Make sure you ask your provider for the yellow booklet which serves as an internationally accepted vaccination record.)
Also: are you using birth control? Can you can afford it without insurance? It is worth talking to your provider about what might be a little cheaper if free birth control gets taken away from us. One option for folks who are concerned about costs is an IUD or another form of longterm contraception. Do you have an IUD that you need to get replaced soon? Think about doing that sooner rather than later, while it’s still free.
Note that legally, under the Obama administration (this might change under Trump), you cannot be denied coverage for appropriate health care due to your gender marker (e.g., health insurance companies must cover pap smears for anyone with a cervix, prostate exams for anyone with a prostate, breast exams for anyone with breasts, etc). Of course this doesn’t mean that individual doctors won’t be assholes, or that they’ll obey the law, but insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate.
The take away message here is: get what you can while it’s free or low cost.
Here’s some smart writing from Kelli Dunham on feelings regarding going to get an exam:
- I Promise You Can Successfully Get A Pap Exam Even If You Are Traumatized, Grossed Out Or Really Really Not Into Those Parts
- Trigger Me Not: Eight Tips to Fight Through Trauma and Get Healthcare
2) If you don’t have insurance, see if you’re eligible for Medicaid or Obamacare.
Don’t be deterred from signing up for Obamacare/Medicaid and encourage your friends to sign up too. Even if it goes away, even a few months of coverage is better than nothing if you would otherwise be uninsured. There are all kinds of theories floating around about how long it would take to actually repeal ACA and see the repeal go into effect, but get it while you can. Seriously.
What health insurance could look like under Trump and beyond
Trump has said he plans to introduce ten pieces of legislation that would replace it with Health Savings Accounts (“allows individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds”). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell concurred that repealing Obamacare is a “pretty high item on our agenda.” Paul Ryan has announced his intention to overhaul Medicare. Millions could lose Medicaid. And here’s some scary details about the potential Republican vision for healthcare reform. This is obviously changing rapidly, and we will update this page as changes happen.