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Health Team

Insurance perseverance pays off for Holly Springs couple

Posted January 31

— A Holly Springs man who was prepared to forgo health insurance because of his frustration with the enrollment process through the government's online exchange now has coverage because he refused to give up.

Ron Colovi has been without health insurance for four years, so he was excited last fall by the opportunity to get coverage for himself, his wife and their 14-year-old son under the Affordable Care Act.

Colovi was dismayed, however, by the process.

Information on the HealthCare.gov enrollment website told him policies for himself and his wife would cost $627.64 to $860.70 a month, ignoring the fact that the couple would qualify for federal subsidies because of their annual income. Their son was enrolled in CHIP, the state Children's Health Insurance Program.

Also, he said, he kept getting different answers from people at the HealthCare.gov help line about how to revise his application to reflect a subsidy.

Colovi said he was tempted to give up and just pay the tax penalty called for under the Affordable Care Act for not having insurance, but he persevered.

"It got to the point I basically was a thorn in their side," he said.

He kept calling both the online marketplace and Coventry Healthcare of the Carolinas, one of the two insurers that offer plans in North Carolina through the exchange. Finally, his application went through in late January, weeks after he applied, and the couple obtained coverage for $124.70 a month.

"It's a big burden – a big burden – off my shoulders," he said.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most people are required to have health coverage by March 31 or face a tax penalty of 1 percent of annual income or $95 per person, whichever is higher. That penalty will increase in subsequent years.

Colovi advised others having difficulty signing up for coverage through HealthCare.gov to keep trying.

"You're going to have to be a thorn in their side. You're going to hound them, and if you want health insurance, you have to stay with it," he said.

20 Comments

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  • thinkin out loud Jan 31, 7:35 p.m.

    I am glad that the Colivi's have coverage now and I can imagine that a burden is lifted to some extent but he is able to get his insurance so cheap because someone else is paying the difference for him. My wife and I make good money but we went to school and work long hours for what we make. last year the 2 of us paid over $50k in taxes so you obamacare folks enjoy my forced charity.

  • mep Jan 31, 7:12 p.m.

    PAULj

    Sadly... studies show Medicaid patients STILL choose the ER instead of going to a regular doctor. Now that medicaid has been greatly expanded.. so have the number of ER visits and costs. And not everyone is insured. In fact, estimates show even more Americans are without insurance now, than before Obamacare. Worse still, all the young health people that PAY for the costs of the sick are not signing up, and instead paying the $95 tax. Which will NEVER cover the costs! Insurance companies are likely heading for a taxpayer bailout... and those of us with insurance can expect MUCH higher rates. Doctors dealing with the new 68,000 Obamacare code system fear any billing errors will lead to delayed payments by as much as 6 months. There is nothing in Obamacare that controls costs. PERIOD.

  • mep Jan 31, 7:05 p.m.

    PAULEJ ... Your statement is not entirely true.
    Yes, it is govt mandated insurance, but the govt sets the limits, coverage, etc. THEN they expect insurance companies to stay in business. It is going to be hard considering how few healthy young people that are signing up to cover the costs of old and sick that are. Drug companies are the same, they invent innovative treatments for a profit. Frankly I never want to live in a country where the govt dictates how much any industry or profession can earn. And countries with socialized medicine have severe issues with quality, funding, and waiting lists. 46,000 Canadians came to the US just last year to obtain treatment they would have to wait nearly 6 months for. Do you really want to wait 6 months to begin YOUR cancer treatment?

  • robertsj47 Jan 31, 6:52 p.m.

    Great for him. I'm paying $6000 more a year now for comparable coverage to support people like him. Enjoy it!

  • dwr1964 Jan 31, 6:18 p.m.

    This is simply another case of the rich, getting richer, by providing less. BarryCare was never intended to help anyone.

  • AliceBToklas Jan 31, 6:06 p.m.

    This is a great story of an individual overcoming the red tape of the government. I congratulate them and hope others can be so diligent.

  • sunshine1040 Jan 31, 5:35 p.m.

    And because I worked and help support my own family now that I am a senior citizen I get to pay almost that amount for just my coverage under medicare

  • paulej Jan 31, 5:01 p.m.

    "You're going to have to be a thorn in their side. You're going to hound them, and if you want... View More

    — Posted by mep

    But, this is NOT government-run healthcare. Actually, it might be better if it were government run. As it is now, it's just government-mandated INSURANCE. That means the insurance companies get a chance to rake in a lot of money, since it's forced on everyone.

    In countries where the government provides the healthcare, it's actually more reasonable. You get sick, you go to the doctor. Doctor bills the government.

    Some say, "but America has the best healthcare!" Well, that would not change so long as we fund medical research. Local hospitals are not what make America a great place for medical care. Nothing would change if we removed the insurance companies from the equation, except we'd save the cost of profit paid to insurance companies. We could lower our bills by 10% . And if the government controlled costs of drugs, we could save more.

    Plus, a person is always free to see a doctor privately.

  • Mustang Jan 31, 5:00 p.m.

    If Amazon required the perseverance that Obamacare requires, they would have been out of business years ago.

  • paulej Jan 31, 4:56 p.m.

    Many here complain about the cost of health insurance going up. My question is why is it going up for some? The whole argument before was that those without insurance were a burden to society. So, everyone is insured. Shouldn't ER costs drop? Shouldn't the doctor be able to lower his costs, knowing he'll get paid, etc.?

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