HEALTH CARE: Iowans Look Into ACA
The Affordable Care Act has left a lot of questions for Iowa families, including the West’s from Newton.
“It’s hard because I’m used to him going to work being very proud of what he does and he can’t do that anymore,” says Megan West.
Megan and her sister Amanda West have been struggling to find answers for their father Chris.
Chris is a farmer and is currently without insurance.
Several health set-backs have kept him away from work and months later he is still without a diagnosis.
“It’s scary when you don’t know what’s wrong with you dad,” says Megan West.
Chris has $30,000 in medical bills and without insurance those bills keep adding up.
“They won’t proceed with some tests because he doesn’t have insurance or money to put forward up front and that’s what’s really frustrating, that maybe we could have some answers if he had insurance,” says Megan West.
The Affordable Care Act is an option but like many Americans, the West family still has a lot of unanswered questions with how it will all work.
“I’m going to look into it but from what I’ve heard so far I don’t know if I support it,” says Amanda West.
Nick Gerhart, the Iowa Insurance Commissioner, admits it can be confusing.
“We’ve been telling folks sit down with a good agent sit down with someone, if it’s intimidating go find someone to help you,” says Gerhart.
The plan also offers options.
There are four plans ranging from Bronze to Platinum.
The Bronze plan is less out-of-pocket but you’ll pay more when you visit the doctor. On the other end the Platinum is more up front but less when you’re sick.
They also range in price based on certain factors.
“it’s based on your age how old you are, if you smoke, there is a 50 percent increase if you smoke, where you live, your geography could influence that and the size of your family,” says Gerhart.
The West family says while this might sound good, they are still leery.
Concerned if they don’t figure it out soon, there’s Dad’s health will continue to get worse.
“That’s where we are stuck, we have to find the best path to go down that’s going to benefit him,” says Amanda West.
The price of each plan is also based on your income, and you could receive a refund to help with costs of insurance.
Commissioner Gehart says Iowa’s prices are ranked relatively low compared to our neighboring states.