Local woman's new search for health care - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Local woman's new search for health care

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By Dean Stephens
dstephens@abcnews4.com

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- There is apparently another glitch to The Affordable Care Act and it has nothing do with the website. Instead it has to do with the millions of people around the country who are losing their health care coverage because of regulations on coverage within the law.

That news hit home for Ryan Nelson, a local small business owner and new mom.

Mount Pleasant's Nelson has had her hands full recently. A bouncing baby girl, a successful start up company but the last thing she expected was a healthcare surprise.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your current CT General life insurance company individual medical plan will be canceled as of December 31, 2013," Nelson read off a letter sent to her this past summer.

Nelson like millions of others, learned earlier this year that her individual insurance coverage would be dropped.

"Pretty much told me we are done with you," said Nelson.

It was a move that President Barack Obama said over and over again wouldn't be part of his signature health care law.

"For someone like us, who didn't know this little clause and now it's hitting us isn't fair because we all work really hard. We pay this self-employment insurance and it's not fair to us that can't keep the policy that we want and that we are happy with right now," said Nelson.

The news has sent Nelson scrambling and back to square one.

"Looking for health insurance is mind boggling; it's worse than looking for a swim suit, a pair of jeans or buying a new car. Those things are simple compared to this," said Nelson.

For now, Ryan and her husband, Darren, will remain focused on their baby, their jobs and understanding that life without insurance is not an option.

"When I was 27, I went without health insurance and I thought I was going to be fine, but now I have to be responsible for someone else. That means I have to take care of myself and that means I need health insurance," said Nelson.

Why is this happening to Nelson and millions of others just like her around the country? Experts say insurance companies left out basic coverage that's now required by Obamacare, including prescription drugs, maternity leave and hospital coverage.

Healthcare advocate Michelle Katz has these important tips for people looking for health care:

1. What is the maximum annual payment?
2. Which doctors and hospitals are in the  plan?
3. How many visits per year?
4. Are prescriptions covered?

While Nelson continues her search for health care that meets her needs, Republicans in Congress have renewed their fight against the health care law, alleging that Obama led people to believe that they would keep their insurance if they were happy with it.

"This is government-run health care because virtually every policy that is sold has to be approved by the government," said House Speaker John Boehner. "That's why you've got 1.5 million Americans who are already gotten these notices that they're going to lose their health coverage because it doesn't meet the minimum standard."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor claimed Obama knew the letters were being sent to existing insurance customers.

It all adds up to more issues, the Republicans say, that spell out delay and ultimately repeal of the law.

But the news surrounding Obamacare is hardly all negative. In Kentucky, the state's health exchanges website has been pointed to as a success by the White House, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal.

While Kentucky has routinely ranked among the worst in health care for its residents, the exchanges have given 26,000 formerly uninsured people to find a health insurance plan and 50,000 others have started the process to apply.

 


  • Dean Stephens

    Email: dstephens@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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