ObamaMESS: Obamacare Enrollees are Unable to
Meet the Deductibles
Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act
this year, and with good reason: She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011,
spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller
aneurysm that needs monitoring.
But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms.
Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to
pay for most of her medical services up to that amount. She is skipping this
year’s brain scan and hoping for the best.
“To spend thousands of dollars just making sure it hasn’t grown?”
said Ms. Wanderlich, 61. “I don’t have that money.”
About 7.3 million Americans are enrolled in private coverage through
the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than 80 percent qualified for
federal subsidies to help with the cost of their monthly premiums. But many are
still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and
$10,000 for families — the trade-off, insurers say, for keeping premiums for the
marketplace plans relatively low. The result is that some people — no firm data
exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the
high out-of-pocket costs.
Insurers must cover certain preventive services, like immunizations,
cholesterol checks and screening for breast and colon cancer, at no cost to the
consumer if the provider is in their network. But for other services and items,
like prescription drugs, marketplace customers often have to meet their
deductible before insurance starts to help.
While high-deductible plans cover most of the costs of severeRead
illnesses and lengthy hospital stays, protecting against catastrophic debt,
those plans may compel people to forgo routine care that could prevent bigger,
longer-term health issues, according to experts and research.
the rest of the story HERE.
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