There has been no shortage of health insurance drama here in Minnesota these past couple months - both in the media and in my own house.

First came the announcement that health insurance premiums could increase another 59 percent and that health insurance companies would be allowed to cap enrollment. Then, our governor made national headlines when he criticized the affordability of the Affordable Care Act.

Here at home, we were getting letters and phone calls from our health insurance agent warning us to enroll early. If we didn't hurry, we risked not getting into a plan before insurance companies reached their enrollment limits.

Then, our cooperative rolled out a new health insurance agency for patrons. I attended the informational meeting and left thinking it sounded too good to be true.

Despite the drama, I am pleased to write that we have a health insurance solution for the current enrollment period. It turned out that our cooperative's health insurance solution wasn't too good to be true.

We were able to use the new agency to find a traditional health insurance policy. I was surprised to see there were actually three health insurance companies still selling policies in our area. I know other areas of the state are more limited.

I was also surprised by how easy the process was. Our agency's health insurance marketplace was accessible online, so I was able to compare multiple companies and multiple policies on the same screen. I liken the experience to picking a flight using Travelocity. I answered some questions about my preferences and the marketplace gave me a list of matching options from all three health insurance companies.

We ended up picking a policy with Health Partners. The deductible and out-of-pocket maximum are similar to our old policy with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, but this time, the agency helped us apply for tax credits through MNSure. We qualified for the credits, which make our premiums much more affordable. (In the past when I tried to look into options through MNSure, I spent hours on the exchange website and didn't get anywhere.)

Long story short, we have a decent policy with much more reasonable premiums.

However, if those tax credits go away, then we will go a different direction. Our Plan B is to switch to coverage with a health care sharing organization like Christian Health Ministries or Good Samaritan. After being recommended by several friends and other dairy farmers, I looked into those plans very carefully. We have very few visits to the clinic for reasons other than wellness exams, so our health insurance needs basically amount to catastrophic coverage.

A health share plan would have been our first option if our cooperative's insurance agency hadn't helped us obtain the tax credits through MNSure. A health share plan would have saved us as much money as our tax credits will now. The main concern I had with the health share plans was the extra step involved of submitting health care receipts myself.

We are also creating a separate savings account for health expenses. Our plan is to accumulate enough to cover our out-of-pocket maximum in the event of a serious health situation. This is not a Health Savings Account - we don't have enough medical expenses to justify creating an HSA. (We created a similar savings account, making deposits through a milk check assignment, to supplement our Margin Protection Plan. That account has come in very handy.)

For the first time in a long time, I am content with our health insurance. The system overall is still broken, but at least our situation is better.

I would like to end by writing that our health insurance challenges are over. But, I'm sure that's wishful thinking. With Republicans now in charge in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, changes to national health caw laws are all but guaranteed.

I sat in on a post-election debriefing yesterday with a political analyst from Washington, D.C. There's currently a lot of speculation about whether the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced or amended. It sounds like some pieces of the ACA will be kept - namely, the provision that prevents insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions and the provision that allows young adults to remain on their parents' policies until age 26.

Regardless of what's to come, any major changes to the health care law will require an act of congress. We all know those don't happen overnight.

Let's just hope that any new health care laws result in less drama and fewer challenges.

Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 75 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have three children - Dan, 9, Monika, 7, and Daphne, 3. Sadie also writes a blog at She can be reached at