Consumer Stories Round Up — Week of December 9
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 13, 2013
CONTACT: Justin Nisly
Press@enrollamerica.org | 202-601-2494
This week, Get Covered America and our partners highlighted consumer stories from women and moms to provide a focal point for Health Insurance Marketplace successes. Although women make up just 45 percent of the uninsured, they make more than 80 percent of health care decisions. It’s clear that women are having a dramatic impact, driving the ‘get covered’ conversation at kitchen tables and in their communities.
The Get Covered America campaign and partners including Planned Parenthood, SEIU, MomsRising.org, and Families USA promoted stories across social media and in the press this week. Blog posts, tweets, infographics and releases shared first-hand accounts of successful enrollment, women encouraging friends and family to sign up, and more just the facts conversations about what the Affordable Care Act means for women.
Stories Drumbeat: Women & Moms in Media
Nancy Smith and her employees in Arizona will “get better coverage and save money in the long run.”
Dec. 11, 2013 – New York Times
Dawn’s health care experience informs her support of ACA. She knows preventive care saves the lives of women.
Dec. 7, 2013 – The Gainesville Sun (Florida)
“Just the fact that I know that I’m going to be able to pay less and have a similar, if not better, plan, it just makes sense,” she said.
Dec. 9, 2013 – WRAL.com (North Carolina)
‘I just instantly burst into tears’: Medical worker finally gets insurance on Obamacare website.
Dec. 10, 2013 – NBC News
“As far as I’m concerned, it was the best thing ever,” Gates said. “I told my Bible study about it, and three said they’re going to sign up.”
Dec. 9, 2013 – The State (South Carolina)
“I am one of the people whose plans were canceled,” Ms. Lincoln said. “It was just the easiest thing in the world.”
Dec. 9, 2013 — New York Times
Caroline lost her job at 54 but found coverage for $27 a month in the marketplace.
Dec. 9, 2013 – New York Times
In an hour, Maria made her first visit to HealthCare.gov, received a tax credit, and selected health insurance for $24 a month.
Dec. 5, 2013 – Concord Monitor (New Hampshire)
Tasha’s coverage would cover her mammograms after a cancer diagnosis five years ago. It’s “just a huge, huge relief.”
Dec. 8, 2013 – New York Times
Over Thanksgiving, Claire helped her parents find great coverage for $30 a month.
Dec. 8, 2013 – New York Times
“The ACA really lets us focus on taking care of her and getting rid of her cancer.”
Dec. 6, 2013 – Fox8 (Ohio)
Sandra’s daughter will pay less than half of what she currently pays for health insurance.
Dec. 9, 2013 – Sun Sentinel (Florida)
Releases: Women Across America Getting Covered
Women Across the Country Getting Covered and Saving Money, Stop Being Denied Coverage
New York – This week, Planned Parenthood highlights three women who were previously denied health insurance coverage or charged more due to pre-existing conditions. Under Obamacare, they have now signed up for new more affordable health plans and cannot be denied.
Jaclyn Munson—New York, NY
Jaclyn, who has endometriosis, was spending $700 a month for individual coverage because of her pre-existing condition. She found a comparable plan for just $376 a month through the New York State marketplace, and she can continue seeing the same specialists. She will save nearly $4,000 a year.
“This has been a great experience for me… Now I have extra money that I can put back into the economy. No matter what your politics, surely this is a good thing.”
Krista Ernst—Austin, TX
Krista is a mother of two who lost her insurance recently when she divorced. The only coverage she could afford was catastrophic insurance. Because she is eligible for a tax credit, her new plan is costing her only $63 a month.
“I now have a co-pay and a set rate for generic drugs. Real health insurance! The healthcare.gov site also gave me the option to add dental (which I haven’t had in years!) for $11/month. Given that my medical policy was so reasonable, I was able to safely add this as well.”
Michel Stong—Santa Rosa, CA
Michel, 57, is a self-employed product designer. For many years, she could not afford any insurance at all because of a false-positive test for lupus, which incorrectly flagged her as someone with a pre-existing condition. For the past 15 years, she could afford only catastrophic insurance. Now, thanks to a tax credit, she will pay $55 a month with no deductible and a $3 copay for doctor visits.
“It just blows my mind that I can get health insurance for this price! I can finally afford checkups, tests, and age-related visits.”
This summer, Planned Parenthood launched an integrated campaign to help educate millions of uninsured Americans about the benefits and availability of new health insurance plans. Online tools are available to help individuals understand how to enroll at www.PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org and in Spanish at www.PlannedParenthoodAsegurate.org.
On the ground, every Planned Parenthood health center has educational materials about the law and the benefits available for patients, as well as staff trained to provide information about the law. Planned Parenthood’s outreach efforts will ramp up dramatically in the coming months, with hundreds of staff deployed to communities with large populations of newly eligible uninsured Americans.
Get Covered America’s #GotCovered Series:
Women Across the Country Are Getting Covered And Telling Others About Their New Options
Sue Voelker – Tucson, AZ – New Health Options Allowed Her to Pursue New Career Opportunities
Sue is an IT consultant and she has been eager to position herself with greater career flexibility as a contractor. In her line of work, flexibility to move between employers and clients is rewarded with potentially higher earnings. When she left her last position for a new opportunity this year, she did so with the knowledge that the new Health Insurance Marketplaces would be there for her. Sue’s husband had sought quotes for her on the private market before October 1 and those premiums were well outside of her budget – with some at almost $900 a month.
Until the new marketplace opened, Sue’s health insurance has determined her entire career path. She says health care has been the single limiting factor for having to stick with large employers who can guarantee her affordable coverage. Earlier in her career, Sue watched as a colleague was shamed by a small employer’s insurer because of their pre-existing condition. When she was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, Sue was worried she could be singled out the same way for causing increased premiums within a small pool of otherwise healthy, insured colleagues.
Now in her late fifties with a pre-existing condition, Sue was impressed by her marketplace options. She selected a gold tier plan that is almost exactly what she would have paid to continue her old coverage through COBRA and several hundred below what she had been quoted for premiums prior to October 1. While she did not qualify for premium assistance, Sue says she’s reached a point in her life where paying the bills is not the top concern – her health security is. Being able to move between jobs without considering health benefits may well translate into a higher income for the couple. Sue has made a point to tell others who are in similar positions in her field how she went about applying so that they too can benefit from the career opportunities her new insurance now allows.
Barb Valaw – Pittsburgh, PA – An Advocate Finds Big Savings for Prescription Drugs
When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Barb wanted to be on the frontlines raising awareness of its benefits to friends, family, and neighbors. Over her career as both an attorney and a licensed nursing home administrator, Barb has seen how health care concerns can overwhelm a family. She worked for years going to bat for employee benefits on behalf of clients. Before the health care law took effect, she had often seen families with premature infants nearing lifetime limits before they even came home from the hospital.
Not only is Barb an advocate, she’s also now a beneficiary of the law. In need of continued coverage after her COBRA plan ran out this summer, Barb was able to sign up recently for the new Health Insurance Marketplace with the help of a navigator after encountering glitches earlier in October. Barb was pleased to find both health and affordable dental coverage there. More importantly, her new gold tier plan will now cover prescriptions which she had paid for out-of-pocket until this point. While her new plan’s premium is just $13 more than what she had been paying each month, she estimates savings close to $1400 in 2014 since her prescriptions are now covered. Moreover, Barb thinks she will likely qualify for premium assistance, but held off on applying for it since there is a chance her income will vary.
Barb has been volunteering with Get Covered America and our partners to spread the word in her community. Now she feels she can relay her experience in encouraging others to see what’s out there.
Marcia Kirshner – Boca Raton, FL – A Once-Frustrated Shopper Finds Great Options on Marketplace
Even as a healthy individual, insurance shopping has been a dissatisfying experience for Marcia in the past. When she started working part-time years ago, Marcia had applied for coverage with an insurer that put her through the ringer. She had to call through and collect in person all of her various medical records from doctors’ offices and make copies before she could submit her application. Due to their own oversight, the company then denied her coverage because they thought Marcia had not proved she followed up on a chest x-ray when she had provided records showing that she did. Marcia was asked to start the process over and was quoted a different rate. She says the process was insane considering her excellent health. After all, Marcia was an aerobics instructor at the time with a clean bill of health. In her mind, it just should not be this difficult to do the responsible thing and get covered.
When Marcia was deemed eligible for the marketplace recently, she found dozens of great options available to her even without the premium assistance available to many. She had received notice that her old plan was non-compliant with Affordable Care Act standards and was quoted a much higher premium to continue with what they considered comparable coverage. Marcia thought she would see what’s out there and not just settle. Her new option is a silver tier plan with a comparable premium and coverage to her old plan with a deductible that’s $1600 less.
For weeks now, Marcia has been volunteering with Get Covered America to encourage others to check out the process. In her work, she’s found folks who qualify for huge savings and shares their stories and her own experience as she meets new people who could stand to benefit.