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Relieved By the Affordable Care Act

22nd April 2014 by Anya Krenicki Comments Off

Bridgitt M.—Buffalo Grove, IL

Due to temporary unemployment and high monthly premiums, Bridgitt’s family had to go without coverage. Now, they have “relief” under the ACA.

“I want to start by thanking everyone involved in this initiative. This act has helped my family in the most crucial time.”

“We are a family of four. Our current situation led me to apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. My husband was let go from his job in October of 2013 and, since his work had provided us with health insurance, I had to seek a job with benefits—immediately! I found a job in a special needs school and was only making just enough to pay for our families insurance, which was $800 a month.  I had a little money left over, but not enough to pay for much. My daughter is currently in college and my son receives Medicare because he has severe autism.”

“I could not continue to support our family. I quit the job at the school so that I could find something where I could make more money and chose not to be covered. Fortunately, the opportunity came to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act and I have some relief until my husband can start working again.”

“We are signed up and are hopeful this will be a success story.”

Saving Money for the Self-Employed

16th April 2014 by Anya Krenicki Comments Off

Margie Howard-Krause—Oak Forest, IL 

The ACA helped self-employed Margie avoid the rising costs of her former health care coverage. 

“It took a few hours on hold with Blue Cross Blue Shield to sign up for the ACA towards the end of December, as they were swamped with calls, but I finally got signed up.  I am self-employed, as is my husband, who is on Medicare now. With our income after business deductions, my premium to Blue X is now going to be $184.37 a month, with a $500 deductible, drug coverage and limited co-pays for doctor visits, among other benefits!”

“If I had stayed on my old policy my premium was going to increase from $497+ a month to $517+ a month, with a $2,500 deductible and no drug coverage. I am so happy that I could kiss our president and all of those who worked with him to get this done.”

“For those of us who are self-employed, the benefits of the ACA are huge!  Before, I basically always just considered my insurance card as a ‘we’ll admit you to the hospital card.’ No guarantees on what your portion [of the costs] would turn out to be.  This year, as part of the ACA, I also got a free mammogram. I am 63 now, so shy of Medicare, but too old to have ‘cheap insurance’ for my age group. I am excited for the future in health care coverage for the first time in decades.”

Uninsured to Enrolled

9th April 2014 by Anya Krenicki Comments Off

Chris G. — Chicago, IL  

After changing jobs, Chris lost his health insurance. The ACA helped him go from uninsured to enrolled. 

At the beginning of 2013, Chris G. changed roles within the college where he is employed. His switch from an administrative position to adjunct instructor resulted in a loss of work hours, and thus, a loss of his health care coverage.

Chris had benefited from health care coverage under his employer for the last 10 years and now he had to seek other options. Chris initially enrolled in COBRA, yet found the plan’s coverage hugely inadequate and terminated his coverage. Despite the risk—knowing that he is “no longer a kid”—Chris spent the majority of 2013 uninsured “waiting for the ACA.”  He went without routine health care visits because he knew he could not afford them while uninsured.

In January of this year, Chris began his healthcare application. As is common with new adjunct professors, Chris was not assigned any classes for this spring (Jan. to May 2014) semester—“it just happens,” he says. Technically unemployed, though anticipating teaching several classes in the fall, Chris qualified for Medicaid.

He has since enrolled, and is relieved to be insured under his new plan. He, like many of newly enrolled Americans, still has questions about the details of his coverage going forward, yet is proud to say he is “a huge supporter of the ACA.”

Helping Freelancers Thrive

30th July 2013 by John Gargiulo Comments Off

Heidi Massey – Chicago, IL

In 2009, I lost my job at a nonprofit when the economy tanked. They let virtually everyone go. For a few months, I was able to get insurance through COBRA, which was actually subsidized by the government. But once that subsidy expired, my unemployment benefits were not enough to take care of my three kids and pay for health insurance. I didn’t even consider purchasing an individual insurance plan because I knew I couldn’t afford it.

This past January 2013, I took the plunge and began working for myself. Almost immediately, I had a full load of clients. So I began to look into obtaining insurance. Like most 50+ year olds, I have previous conditions that make it virtually impossible to get affordable health insurance. So I have a junk insurance plan that doesn’t provide great coverage and doesn’t even cover prescriptions. However, once the health care marketplace opens this fall, it will be easier to shop for a plan that meets my medical needs and my budget.

My current insurance does not cover preventative care. Once the ACA goes into full effect and I have access to preventative care, I will be healthier and able to work uninterrupted by disease. In these tough economic times, having easy access to quality, affordable care will help freelancers like me thrive.

The Affordable Care Act – A Real Opportunity, A Real Hope

18th July 2013 by John Gargiulo Comments Off