Oak Forest, IL
The Affordable Care Act has finally made health insurance accessible to Bill Koclanis and his wife.
“It brought insurance down to a price that a person could actually pay,” says Koclanis.
Prior to obtaining a Marketplace insurance plan, Koclanis and his wife had been covered under a health savings account (HSA) for about a year and a half.
“The price had gone up considerably from the time we had taken the health savings account,” says Koclanis. “[The monthly cost] probably jumped $400 or $500. We’d get letters saying ‘You’re 60 years old now,’ or ‘You weigh this much and you’re only this tall.’”
With each notification came an increase in price, says Koclanis. He and his wife didn’t know when to expect a price increase; he says that it seems the bill would climb every few months.
In January 2013, Koclanis attended a seminar on the ACA led by a former Campaign for Better Health Care Navigator, Jose Espinoza.
“He did an excellent job of explaining it,” says Koclanis. “It was very manageable for me.”
Koclanis and his wife later met with Espinoza again, this time to get enrolled. Koclanis said they walked away a half hour later with new coverage.
“Our savings is astronomical,” says Koclanis, who opted for both a medical and dental plan for he and his wife. “Our actual billed amount for both of our medical and dental plans is $1,046 a month. Our tax subsidy is $623 a month, so we only pay $423 a month.”
Koclanis says that, without this tax subsidy, he would not be able to afford his new coverage.
“It is awesome. It’s kind of like a dream come true,” he says of his new coverage plan.
Koclanis says that he sees other benefits of the ACA beyond his own vital savings.
“I can see for younger people, if they would take advantage of this, that to be able to cover your medical would allow you to leave your job, basically, and a person could go chase their entrepreneurial dream,” says Koclanis. “I worked in the trades. I knew guys who wanted real badly to strike out on their own, but the medical was always the large issue. It was always the killer; it was always the deal breaker that kept you where you were. I don’t know if the country seems to understand this [benefit of the ACA] yet. I think the Navigators made all the difference in the world. Still, the Navigators can speak to you, but you still have to listen.”
Koclanis says that his son has recently left his job to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavor of his own; he is in the process of signing up for a Marketplace plan as well.
“I think that the Navigators are very good,” says Koclanis. “It made all the difference in the world. If people would just search out for the help…I contacted [Navigator Jose Espinoza] and he was more than generous with his time. It worked out beautifully.”