Affordability of insurance under health law questioned
Posted November 6, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — People's perspectives on the Affordable Care Act often depends on whether they need health insurance and whether the law can fulfill their quest for coverage.
For the past three years, Ruth Ann Grimes had a health insurance plan that she says served her well for a $381 monthly premium.
But Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina recently told her that the plan doesn't meet the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Instead, Grimes could choose a plan with a $562 monthly premium.
"It's been aggravating to see a policy you were perfectly happy with doesn't exist anymore, and you can't keep it. You have to go on another plan," she said.
The 55-year-old Johnston County resident said she could shop the marketplace, but as the wife of a North Carolina State University professor, she said she wouldn't qualify for any government subsidies to help pay the premium.
"The Affordable Care Act did not make it very affordable for me," she said. "It's not that I don't want anyone to have health insurance or health care because that's not the case. It's just trying to make it affordable for everybody."
Grimes said she plans to go back on her husband's State Health Plan coverage. It's more expensive than her existing plan but will cost less than the Blue Cross alternative.
Meanwhile, Steven Levin said he is looking forward to getting insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
The 27-year-old Durham man juggles a part-time job and computer classes but has lacked health coverage.
"Millennials, they say we're invincible, but we're not invincible," Levin said. "It's merely fact, when you're not making that much and you're trying to get these entry-level jobs, $200 a month (for insurance), it's too much, especially if the employer doesn't provide it."
He said he plans to buy insurance from the much-maligned online marketplace. Like many Americans, he has run into difficulty applying through the website, so he has mailed in an application and is waiting to hear from officials about his enrollment.
"With the subsidy I'd be getting, it'd be like $50 a month," he said. "I'm going to be better off because of (the law)."