Uninsured struggle to find healthcare options

3 years 4 months 2 days ago Tuesday, October 21 2014 Oct 21, 2014 Tuesday, October 21, 2014 7:28:00 PM CDT October 21, 2014 in Poverty
By: Brittany Pieper, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - Natia Dennis works hard to take care of her family at home and the elderly at the nursing home where she works as a full time Certified Nursing Assistant. Insurance is offered through her job, but she says supporting a family of four on about $1,200 a month means she can't afford it.

"By the time you get that taken out you don't have much to bring home, so that's why I haven't gotten it yet," Dennis said.

Dennis says her teenage kids qualify for Medicaid, but she doesn't. She goes to Family Health Center in Columbia for primary care, but when she found out she needed to see a specialist for some health issues she had a hard time getting anyone to see her.

"If you don't have insurance then it's really hard for them to find a doctor that's going take you. If you do, you have to pay a certain amount of money up front, and just think about that if you don't have the money up front, what are you going do then?" Dennis said.

Dr. Andrew Quint, Medical Director at Family Health Center, says Dennis is not alone. The center sees about 1,600 uninsured patients a year, and it has a waiting list of even more. The center sees uninsured patients who qualify on a sliding scale depending on their income.

Below is a chart showing the annual patient income ranges and the sliding fee charge.

"It's really complex," Quint said. "It's more complicated than just having Medicaid. People should understand that just getting Medicaid isn't enough. The healthcare system needs a lot of revamping... In the near term, the only fix really would have been Medicaid expansion, because otherwise there just aren't the resources. The Federal Government does not provide enough resources to take care of all the uninsured."

The challenges don't end there. The Affordable Care Act now requires everyone to get insurance, get an exemption, or get fined. Dennis thinks that's a problem for people like her who would like insurance but say they have no idea how they'll pay for it.

"There's a large gap of people who aren't going to be able to get insurance through the exchanges, and they're making more than the current Medicaid eligibility levels," Aaron Swaney, an Outreach and Enrollment Specialist at Family Health Center.

He advises anyone without insurance to talk with an enrollment specialist one-on-one about their situation.

"They need to at the very least find out what their options are because people don't necessarily know if they fall below or above the poverty line. They might be eligible for discounts in the exchange and not even know it. If they aren't, then one thing they can do is get an exemption from the individual mandate, that fine for not having insurance. People who fall below the poverty line should always be able to get an exemption," Swaney said.

Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace starts November 15th and goes until February 15th.

You can contact an enrollment specialist through Family Health Center at (573) 214-2314.

Click here to visit Family Health Center's website.

Click here for the application for Family Health Center's sliding scale fee program.

 

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenager with a mental disability... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:49:46 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri bill would confiscate licenses from teenagers accused of unlawful driving. The Springfield... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:46:17 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TIPTON - What started off as a one-day service project has turned into a month-long fundraiser. Members of the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - The Miller County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with murder on Wednesday in connection with a September 2017... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:09:48 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JOPLIN (AP) — University libraries across Missouri are spending more of their budgets on online resources and subscriptions, as... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:26:29 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Forest Service officials say wildfires in Taney County last week are being investigated as possible arson.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An Illinois megadonor is contributing $500,000 to the effort to make Missouri a right-to-work... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:59:41 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers arrested a man on Tuesday following an investigation into alleged domestic assault. The 74-year-old female... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:53:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
TRENTON (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in the theft of an ambulance from a northwest... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:37:11 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
MARCELINE (AP) — Authorities say a train has struck and killed a third-grader in northern Missouri. The... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 9:28:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Solid Waste Utility and Downtown Community Improvement District will meet Wednesday night to discuss the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:50:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- It’s no secret anything related to a Disney character can dazzle a child. Lauren Kight, a senior at... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:00:00 AM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Jefferson City - In mid-Missouri, there are few opportunities to take to the ice like your favorite Olympic figure skater,... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:30:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Icy weather hit Sedalia and other western counties on Tuesday. The conditions are expected to continue through... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:03:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Economic Outlook Conference kicked off at Columbia College with a laugh and speakers discussing how... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:06:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill outlawing so-called "revenge porn." ... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in Top Stories
KOMU-8 viewers shared their favorite pictures of their pets for National Love Your Pet Day Tuesday. Show your pets... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 5:04:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri team of researchers created a massive new area of research. A multi-disciplinary... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 5:00:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
3am 39°
4am 40°
5am 40°
6am 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00a
2018 Olympic Winter Games
3:30a
Inside Edition
4:00a
Paid Program
2:00a
Dr. Phil
3:00a
The Dr. Oz Show
4:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
The 3rd Annual Howie Mandel Stand-Up Gala
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld