For a 20th anniversary theater viewing of Space Jam, my friend, Sam, suggested that we dress up as characters from the movie. If you’re not familiar with Space Jam (shocked, I’M SHOCKED) — it is a 1996 classic starring Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. VH1 commonly airs it at 7:00 PM on Fridays, in case you need solid plans in the next few days. In regards to dressing up for the showing, I had to be honest with Sam. Much like with Halloween costumes, my creative intentions and preparedness are short-lived; I will probably attend wearing glow stick bracelets that I found in a junk drawer.
On the night of the event, I hope truer Space Jam fans can coordinate enthusiastic outfits, but it won’t be Sam and I (his staple costume is a Ketchup Bottle). In spite of my default junk drawer plans, the increased health insurance rates for 2017 have inspired me to incorporate *spooky* insurance details into DIY costumes.
If you’ve searched for a way to weave the current state of health insurance into your Halloween traditions, look no further!
The Enrollment Cap
What you need: A baseball cap, paper, a marker to write “Enrollment Cap” on the paper.
How to wear it: Wear cap on head.
Carriers like Medica, UCare and HealthPartners will only accept enrollees up to a certain number. That is especially scary if you wait too long to enroll — your first pick might be gone.
The Shrunken Network
What you need: A wool sweater that accidentally ended up in the dryer, or any item of clothing that is, well, constricting.
How to wear it: Put item of clothing on, be uncomfortable with your limited range of mobility.
The networks for all carriers have narrowed. If you see a particular doctor or only want to travel to a certain clinic, make sure the 2017 plan you chooses covers your preferred providers. If you don’t, an out-of-network bill might be freaky frightening.
The High Premium
What you need: Monopoly money and tape. Or actual dollar bills that you’d rather spend on a vacation, a mortgage payment or Vikings tickets. Or Monopoly money.
How to wear it: Use tape to adhere money to body.
Premiums increased carrier-wide, with some plans seeing an almost 70% jump in cost. That’s scarier than a visit to a haunted house, for sure. But, your income and family size may qualify you for a discount on your health insurance. An agent can help you navigate the premium increases, determine your subsidy and help locate the best plan for you.
The 26 Year Old
What you need: Any outfit from H & M will do. It’s October, but maybe a crop top? You can still pull it off.
How to wear it: Pair the carefree crop top with the gloomy realization that you have a new monthly bill for health insurance. Womp.
You’re not allowed to be covered under Mom and Dad’s health insurance anymore. It was a nice ride while it lasted, but it’s time to shop for plans for yourself. Without the help of a broker, scrolling through the options may feel like a never-ending corn maze.
The 30 Year Old
What you need: Any outfit from H & M will still do, but wear whatever you like. I seem to have amassed a large collection of sweaters from Banana Republic as a 30-something and I recently purchased a fanny pack.
How to wear it: Wear your sweater (or anything) with confidence, but appear somewhat bummed by your heightened health insurance rates.
You’ve been able to purchase a catastrophic plan – lower premium and higher deductible — up until now. But, you’re a newbie 30-something, and these plans are no longer designated as qualified health plans in the health insurance marketplace. Your options for 2017 will be a bit more expensive, but not blood-curdling.