Archive for November, 2013

For Joe, Coverage Saved His Life

November 26, 2013

As a self-employed painter, Joe Lucas says he has always tried his best to make ends meet. Sometimes, that meant going without.

While he was able to secure health insurance through an employer for a time years ago, increasing premiums forced him to give it up. Things went from bad to worse when he suffered an aortic aneurism while uninsured.

Joe knew he needed to do something to cover his health costs going forward. With his pre-existing condition, shopping for health insurance meant monthly premiums of $1,000 or more. Fortunately when the health care law was passed, Pennsylvania began a program allowing individuals with pre-existing conditions to get covered until the new Health Insurance Marketplace opened. Joe says the law helped save his life twice now.

Joe worked with an expert to start his application, but ended up being able to finish the process on his own at home. He had 35 different plans to choose from and received $233 in monthly financial help to pay his premiums. For the option he settled on, the financial help reduced Joe’s premium from $383 to just $150 per month.

Joe’s new coverage will let him keep getting the annual checkups his doctor needs to monitor his heart. Now, at age fifty, he can focus on his work and not have to worry about seeking treatment only when he can afford it.

Covered together at last

November 15, 2013

Rita Rizzo and Lou Vincent, from Akron, Ohio, have built a comfortable life together paycheck by paycheck despite one missing piece – affordable health care.

That’s because they’ve been denied health insurance for a decade due to pre-existing conditions. Years ago, Rita had surgery for a hip replacement for which she no longer needs treatment. Lou has diabetes and also takes medicine for high blood pressure.

Rita was recently able to find insurance, but at a steep premium of $400 per month, and an even steeper $6,000 deductible. Meanwhile, Lou hasn’t had any coverage. He pays $170 each month for his blood pressure medicine alone. Rita knew the arrangement just wasn’t sustainable as they get older, but she was growing tired of the rejections from health insurance plans.

But when the Health Insurance Marketplace opened, their pre-existing conditions were no longer a barrier. The couple qualified for a subsidy that dropped their monthly premium down to just $184. That’s only a bit more than what they currently pay each month just for Lou’s medicine.

Finally, Rita and Lou are covered together — at a price they can afford. Imagine their relief.

Certainty for Rebecca

November 14, 2013


That’s what Rebecca Haug of Del Norte, CO wanted most when she went to look for a new plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Since her husband passed away in 2007, she has been working as a registered nurse, gaining and losing coverage through employers who have closed up or cut back in tough times.

But now, Rebecca knows that her health insurance can’t be taken away if her job changes. Debt from her medical expenses, which have been pushing her toward bankruptcy, will finally stop piling up.

Rebecca is very proud of her family, and her children had been helping her find treatment for her pre-existing conditions, which includes type 2 diabetes.

Before the Marketplace opened, Rebecca was quoted a health insurance premium at nearly $1,100 a month — just for herself — from private insurers.

But through the Marketplace, Rebecca found out she qualified for a $500 tax credit to purchase insurance. Because of that financial assistance, she will pay just $12 for her monthly premium.

Rebecca is most relieved that her coverage will keep her health care concerns from affecting her adult children as they start their young families. Even at 61, she can still continue working as a registered nurse as work comes along.

Want to see what you might qualify for in the Health Insurance Marketplace? Check out our Get Covered Calculator today.

For Mark and Elisabeth, “affordable” is an understatement

November 12, 2013

The new options now available through the Health Insurance Marketplace were always meant to be affordable. For Mark and Elisabeth Horst, “affordable” is an understatement.

Mark and Elisabeth are just two out of millions of Americans who qualify for quality coverage in the Marketplace for free.

The couple, both full-time artists from Albuquerque, New Mexico, had been paying about $250 each month for a health insurance plan that barely covered their needs. When their insurer notified them their plan would no longer be offered after December, they went to shop for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. They were delighted to discover that they could choose a new health insurance plan that gives them more security and, after the financial assistance that was available to them, comes with zero dollars in monthly premium payments.

Shopping for a plan in the Marketplace is all about finding an option that fits your needs and your budget. For Mark and Elisabeth, who are both relatively healthy, a cheaper plan that came with higher out-of-pocket costs if they needed care made sense. For many others, it will be worth paying slightly more each month for a plan that offers lower out-of-pocket costs.

The best part is, it’s entirely up to you. To get started, get an estimate of what your monthly premium might be with our Get Covered Calculator.

Believe it or not: Gail #GotCovered for less than $2 a month

November 8, 2013

Gail Roach of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania had a couple of things to worry about when she retired from the job she’d held for decades at the local school district.

If she wanted to continue her retirement health care option, Gail would have to pay more than $500 each month on her premium. But if she dropped her plan, she was concerned that a pre-existing condition, Type 2 Diabetes, would stand in the way of affordable coverage.

But Gail was in store for good news when she shopped for a new plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace. She called the Marketplace hotline at 1-800-318-2596 and had a trained professional walk her through the options — more than 30 different plans to choose from.

After listening to the options she qualified for, Gail found a plan that fit her needs and definitely fit her budget: With the financial help available, Gail determined that she could get covered for less than $2 a month.

In the end, Gail didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance or being denied for having a pre-existing condition. Gail was covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace for almost nothing — believe it or not.

You could get covered too. Check out our Get Covered Calculator to find out what you might qualify for in the Marketplace.

Listen Now – Your Questions, Answered

November 1, 2013

Over 12k listeners and counting for National Telephone Town Hall, “She Knows Financial Help is Here”

Last week, we teamed up with Consumer Reports to host a live, interactive telephone town hall conversation about the new health options that are available on the Health Insurance Marketplace.

We know that women make the majority of health care decisions for American families, and we also know that everyone wants to learn more about the financial help that’s available.

If you missed the town hall, don’t worry. Take a listen above and pay special attention for these highlights:

  • At 3:30, we learn, “what is the Health Insurance Marketplace, and what will I find when I get there?” Enroll America President Anne Filipic goes over some of the basics of the Health Insurance Marketplace and what you can expect.
  • At 4:00, learn about essential benefits – all the things that these plans must cover. This is especially important for mothers to know.
  • For all the mothers out there, tune in at 4:20 to hear about maternity and pediatric services that must be covered.
  • At 5:00, learn about the difference between the plan categories – platinum, gold, silver, and bronze.
  • At 7:20, learn about the financial assistance that is available from DeAnn Friedholm from Consumer Reports. A family of four that makes less than $90,000 a year will qualify for financial help.
  • At 8:40, learn about the premium tax credit that you can use to bring down the cost of your health insurance each month. Find out what it will mean for you to take it now versus later?

In addition to going over the basics, we received a lot of great questions from a live audience. Check out these moments if any of these questions apply to you:

  • 11:10: My son is unemployed. How is he able to pay for coverage if he doesn’t have a job? – Kathy in North Carolina
  • 14:10: Is the health insurance going to be affordable? – Divine in Pennsylvania
  • 16:45: Are there any pre-existing conditions that do not qualify for coverage? – Monica in Texas
  • 17:52: I’m not understanding. How can I speak to someone live? – Ruben in Texas
  • 21:00: For college students who cannot be supported by their parents, how will this be helpful for them? – Marta in Illinois
  • 23:00 – It’s possible that I have insurance now, but may not have it next year. I’m not old enough for Medicare and my income level is too high for Medicaid. What kind of income level is there for single people with no dependents? – Anne from Georgia
  • 26:00 – I’m 55 years old and still in the work force. My employer does offer insurance, but it’s a very high premium and a high deductible. I also have a pre-existing condition so I’m having a hard time getting them to pay for doctor’s visits. Will there be assistance for people my age? – Yolanda in Texas
  • 34:31 – When will a list of doctors be available? Can I call my physicians that I visit currently and ask them whether they’ll be available through the exchanges? – Rhonda from Texas

Important resources

Here are links to the tools and resources mentioned during the call:

Thanks to our speakers DeAnn Friedholm, Director of Health Reform for Consumer Reports and Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America! Thanks also to our host Jessica Barba Brown, Communications Director at Enroll America.

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