Many Low-Wage Workers Fall In Coverage Gap
In states like Florida, North Carolina and Texas that declined to expand Medicaid, residents in low-wage jobs are discovering that they can't afford coverage because they make too little to qualify for federal subsidies but too much to qualify for Medicaid. Meanwhile, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch chronicles a couple that got insurance in the nick of time and California Healthline looks at why some legal immigrants are not enrolling.
Health News Florida:
Middle-Aged, Low-income Fall Into 'Gap'
When the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace opened last year, Beth and Doug Warner of St. Petersburg asked a navigator to enroll them. But they discovered their income wasn’t high enough to get a subsidy. Without one, Doug Warner said, the policy for the couple would cost $700 a month. “Basically the choice was, ‘Keep the roof over your head or buy healthcare.'” It’s one of the great ironies of the health overhaul. Floridians most in need of health insurance -- adults below the poverty line -- are often blocked from coverage the Affordable Care Act provides. (Gentry, 12/4)
North Carolina Health News:
Fast-Food Workers Struggle To Pay For Health Insurance
The Feb. 15 deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage on the federal Healthcare.gov website is quickly approaching, and low-wage workers like DeAngelo Morales and Isaac McQueen are stuck between a rock and hard place. McQueen, 35, a father of two, has worked at Domino’s Pizza for 10 years as a pizza maker. He says he doesn’t qualify for subsidies offered under the Affordable Care Act. He also doesn’t qualify for Medicaid after North Carolina declined to expand the program to adults who make more than 49 percent of the federal poverty level, which works out to $9,697 a year for a family of three. (Namkoong, 12/5)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Health Insurance Came Just In Time
Tom and LaDonna Appelbaum have a knack for good timing. The West County couple spent a nerve-wracking four years without health insurance but never had a serious medical issue to worry about. When it came time to sign up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul last year, the Appelbaums decided they weren’t going to take any more chances. They qualified for a subsidy to help reduce the cost of their monthly premium. And it wasn’t a moment too soon. In June, Tom Appelbaum, a self-employed attorney, had a boating accident that required surgery on his right hand. And just two months later LaDonna Appelbaum was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Shapiro, 12/4)
Exchange, Immigration Advocates Urge Enrollment by Mixed Status Families
Many members of mixed-status families have balked at enrolling in Medi-Cal or Covered California over concerns that application information might end up in the hands of immigration authorities. That won't happen, according to Pedro Ribiero, assistant director of public affairs for immigration and customs enforcement at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Gorn, 12/4)
The Dallas Morning News:
New Online Tool Shows Changes In Dallas Healthcare.gov Plans
Premiums for health care policies sold in Dallas County by Cigna and BlueCross BlueShield of Texas are higher next year. Premiums for Aetna and Molina plans are lower. Aetna is raising deductibles and co-pays, though, while many BlueCross plans are standing pat on those costs. The changes offer consumers more choices, and more reason to look at total costs as well as premiums. (Landers, 12/4)