Today Rosalie Han of Pittsburgh took the first steps towards getting insured according to Affordable Care Act, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was to get started with the process of buying health insurance on the exchange.
“It was really easy,” she said “I didn’t expect it to be complicated, but I was surprised by how easy it actually was.”
Rosalie is turning 26 this month, and will no longer be covered by her parents’ insurance. She is self-employed as a personal trainer, and cannot get health insurance through an employer as most Americans do.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many young people would simply risk going without insurance, but Rosalie is proactive about her health and was enthusiastic about the opportunity health care reform is presenting.
“I think it’s important that I get yearly check ups and see a doctor and an Ob/Gyn even if I think I’m healthy,” she said “and it’s important to have it in case of a catastrophe.”
Rosalie was able to meet with a Navigator today at a booth set up in Market Square. There she was explained how the exchange works and how to get insurance. The Navigators, people specifically hired and trained to help people navigate the exchange, were able to show Rosalie a rough idea of what her options were with minimal hassle.
“I thought they were going to need all kinds of paperwork,” she said. “But they just asked for my address, phone number, social security number and how much I make at my job.”
Though they couldn’t enroll her in a specific plan that day, but she said that they were going to mail her more detailed information, and that she would be able to make a decision.
The only hiccup was that the Navigators couldn’t be totally sure that Rosalie was eligible to get subsidies based on her income. This is because, according to Rosalie, she’s close to a gap in coverage that was supposed to be filled by Medicaid Expansion.
Under the ACA, people under a certain income level were supposed to be eligible for Medicaid instead of buying subsidized insurance under the exchange. Since Medicaid is administered at the state level, it was up to each state to accept the money and expand the program. Corbett did not, and many people that make too much for traditional Medicaid but too little for the exchange will fall into a coverage gap.
Rosalie must wait until her information is processed before she knows for sure what she is eligible for, but for now she is optimistic that the ACA will work if people get signed up. However, she adds that Corbett needs to expand Medicaid.
“It’s crazy to think that people’s healthcare should depend on whether they make enough money or not”.