Special Report: Is Obamacare Working?

Special Report: Is Obamacare Working?
obamacare still .jpg

Ashley Doss from Carl Junction, Missouri and Chantel Ring of Granby, Missouri both experienced a health care crisis last year: They lost their insurance.

“He received an email through work and it just said that as of December 31st, they were canceling their insurance,” said Doss. “It really didn’t give an explanation why.”

Doss and her husband were left to find individual health care for themselves and their two girls.

“Only one income, I was worried about costs, how we were going to pay for prescriptions.”
Chantel Ring started making too much money.

“I had medicaid until they dropped me because of my job,” said Ring, who lives with her 3-year-old daughter.

Ring falls in a health care coverage gap. She is no longer eligible for her Medicaid, but her daughter is.

She asked her employer for health insurance, but like Doss’ employer, they declined.

Two families, different situations, but both turned to healthcare.gov for insurance.

Doss and her husband found relief. Through Coventry Health Care, the couple was able to find a plan that meets their needs and saves them money.

“It showed us that it was going to be a little less than $100 cheaper for us,” said Doss.

Jordan Rickabaugh, navigator project coordinator at Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, says there are similar stories in the 4-state area and across the country.

“I’ve worked with people who didn’t have insurance before that now have insurance or had insurance that was too expensive and now have a more affordable option,” said Rickabaugh.

Ring’s experience was different. After enrolling in healthcare.gov, she learned her premium would be too costly, so she decided to forego coverage.

“It’s hard to pay almost $200 for insurance,” said Ring.

Howard Danzig, president of ECCHIC, a cost management and insurance specialist group based out of St. Louis, said for a program that was meant to save people money, it doesn’t.

“It is not affordable with all the regulations, all the middlemen and all the interferences that we put between us and the doc,” said Danzig.

The US Department of Health and Human services reports more than 8 million Americans have enrolled in the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

But there are still Americans uninsured. According to a recent Gallup poll, 13.4 percent of US adults currently do not have health care coverage.

Some experts feel the healthcare reform is a cookie cutter answer to a complex problem.

“When you try and broad reach everybody with a program, you’re going to alienate a lot of those people,” said Randall Kraft, of Joplin-based Kraft Insurance Services.

Ultimately, there is debate whether the Affordable Care Act is actually affordable.

For Doss, this answer is yes and she is optimistic this will be the case for others.

“It will be a great thing for everybody in the long run,” said Doss. “More things will be covered and people will start getting healthier. I think it’s just going to work out for everybody in the end.”

Ring is going to keep looking.

“I’m going to try to apply for Medicaid see if they could do it again,” she said. “And if that doesn’t work then I’ll look into some other insurance that I might be able to get.

Two real life examples of the Affordable Care Act with two very different outcomes.