29,000 Kansans get coverage through ACA; here's one of them

It is no secret that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is among the hottest of hot button issues in our country right now. In October 2013, the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace–a part of the ACA that created a one-stop shop for buying health insurance–caused the buzz around this new legislation to reach a fever pitch.

In the midst of all the debate surrounding the law, more than 29,000 Kansans have enrolled in insurance through the Marketplace.

This is the story of one of them.

Johnny is a 51 year old male who lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Johnny has epilepsy and was on an insurance plan with his wife until they divorced in 2011.

“I tried keeping my insurance on my own and it was well over $600 (a month),” Johnny said. He was forced to go without insurance, even though his illness causes him to suffer from seizures that can lead to a medical emergency at any time.

“I was scared. When I turned 49, I didn’t stop moving. I just thought, ‘I have to be proactive. I have to stay busy, eat healthy, and do things like that.’ If something would have happened I don’t know what I would have done,” he said.

Johnny recently sat down with Rosilyn Wells, a Certified Marketplace Navigator at Heartland Community Health Center, to apply for coverage in the Marketplace.

“If it wasn’t for a friend telling me to go in and see Rosilyn, I wouldn’t have tried to apply for this insurance,” Johnny said, “I’m glad I listened.”

Rosilyn walked Johnny through the application process, and he found a plan that is both affordable and provides the coverage he needs. He now pays under $10 a month for his health insurance.

“I didn’t think I would qualify, but I did. For the first couple weeks I would just scratch my head and think, ‘Is this real?’” Johnny said.

Since receiving his new insurance cards, Johnny has been running all over town catching up on the doctor and specialist visits he had been unable to afford for the last few years.

“I have suddenly been able to address things that I’ve been putting off because I can afford the copay now,” Johnny said, “It’s reassuring knowing that if an emergency does arise I can do something about it.”

Johnny’s advice to those who have not applied in the Marketplace yet: “Find somebody that can help you and walk you through it, and you’ll have health insurance.”

The open enrollment deadline for the Health Insurance Marketplace is this Monday, March 31. Visit HealthCare.gov to apply or call 785.841.7297 to make an appointment with an enrollment specialist at Heartland Community Health Center.

Tagged: ACA, Obamacare

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I have had insurance for a few years now, but like this man it was a long time before that that I had seen a doctor. Unlike him I was not proactive about my health, but have learned my lesson the hard way and now am.

Unless you have been in this situation you don't know what a blessing it is to be able to have a doctor, be able to get referrals to specialists when you need them, to have tests done and get medications. Its wonderful. It may sound strange but it makes you, at least it did me, feel like a real person again, living like a normal person.

President Obama truly cares about us, because he has had home schooling, that is a saying about how someone was raised, not to be taken literally. That is why he fought for this so hard.

To be enrolled in the AFC would take a huge burden off your shoulders, with that worry gone, it frees up your mind and emotions for other things.

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