When going without health insurance is not an option
For Liliana Pinzon and her husband Hector Salgado, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a blessing. Her husband has diabetes and depends on health care coverage to get the regular check-ups and prescription medications he needs.
For this family, going without healthcare is just not an option.
“When my husband changed jobs and lost his health insurance, we were able to get a new healthcare policy through the ACA at a reasonable cost,” Pinzon said. “This has allowed us to have access to good doctors and hospitals when we need them.”
Pinzon and her husband pay $500 a month in premiums. Her five-year-old daughter Maya is on Kidcare. Before the ACA, the family paid $2,000 a month in premiums, an unsustainable amount that became impossible after Hector switched to part-time work because of his health.
Pinzon is very grateful to have an affordable policy, too. A few years ago she had a complicated pregnancy that resulted in termination due to a fetal abnormality and knows how it important it is to have health care coverage, especially women’s well-care.
Her Florida Blue HMO healthcare policy allows her to receive care at a Community Health Center where doctor visits cost $3 and labs are free or very low-cost. She has thyroid disease and requires annual blood exams and monthly medications.
“The ACA offers families like mine the opportunity to choose among many different healthcare policies with different prices,” Pinzon said. “This allows you to pick a healthcare plan that meets your needs – financially and health-wise, depending on your personal circumstances and health concerns.”
According to the Commonwealth Fund, among adults ages 19 to 64 who purchased or looked for a health plan through the ACA marketplace, 70 percent had two or more plans available, an even higher percentage than options available through employer plans. In addition, thirty percent of consumers buying marketplace plans said they had five or more plans to choose from. The number of options increases in more urban areas like South Florida.
For her husband, Hector, age 63, the various options available in Broward County, Florida meant finding a healthcare policy that included his doctors and had a good diabetes treatment program. Salgado works part-time as a college instructor where he has no health insurance.
“Thank goodness the Affordable Care Act has been available to me,” Salgado said. “Without it I wouldn’t have been able to stay healthy and helping to support my family.”
Choosing a Health Care Plan can be complicated. You can learn more about how to pick a plan here:https://www.healthcare.gov/choose-a-plan/
The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida has licensed healthcare navigators who can help you make a decision about what policy is best for you and your family. Call our statewide toll-free number to speak to a navigator and set up an appointment for a personal assistance: 1-877-553-7453. For more information on the EFOF navigation program: http://www.efof.org/acanavigation/
Read the Commonwealth Report: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2017/jun/health-plan-choice-in-aca-marketplace