MEDFORD, Ore. — Millions of previously uninsured Americans are now receiving coverage through The Affordable Care Act. The new plan going into place does cover more, but it’s also costing more. Sherri McNeely recently became insured, but she is now paying more to go to the doctor than she did before.
“About $150 at least… plus your medications… if he gives me medications, I’m going to have to pay for my prescription too so probably another $50 or $60 for that,” said McNeely.
Before becoming insured McNeely just paid out of pocket, but now she’s paying the same amount as she did before. However, she’s also paying monthly premium on top of that for her government-mandated insurance.
“You’re just your stuck… I don’t think it’s called The Affordable Care Act… it should be called the Unaffordable Care Act,” said McNeely.
According Larry Boeck, an insurance broker with Boeck & Associates Inc, everyone who was preciously uninsured is having to pay more now because they are having to pay the additional expense of insurance. He said insurance premiums for everyone are going up, as The Affordable Care Act goes into place. This is because insurance agencies must accept everyone. They cannot pick and choose based on medical history like they could before. In Oregon, premiums are increasing anywhere from 35 to 38 percent because of the coverage The Affordable Care Act requires.
“There’s some really good benefits it puts in there, but what they are finding out are those costs are going up, and that’s what’s making it less affordable to a lot of people,” said insurance broker Larry Boeck.
Even for one privately insured person, like McNeely, a minimum coverage plan equivalent to hers costs hundreds of dollars a month, and those under the plan must pay a $5000 deductible before their insurance kicks in.
“We will never meet that unless we go to the doctor frequently, which you have to have money to do that… so it doesn’t really help you a lot,” said McNeely.
McNeely does get subsidies that brought the cost of her insurance plan down, but she’s still paying $300 a month, and that’s a payment she didn’t have to pay before The Affordable Care Act went into effect.