Free Health Care Event May Not Decrease Number of Uninsured Missourians

4 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Friday, January 24 2014 Jan 24, 2014 Friday, January 24, 2014 9:56:00 AM CST January 24, 2014 in News
By: Megan Schultz

COLUMBIA - The Family Health Center is hosting a free health care event at the Boone County Public Library Saturday, but not everyone believes the event will succeed in getting people to enroll in the health insurance marketplace.

People can go to the event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Training Center to get information from certified health care navigators about affordable insurance plans.

"We're having an enrollment event so that we can just provide a central location in town where people can go to get help either just simply answering questions they have about health insurance or potentially even going through the enrollment process, applying and then purchasing a plan," said health care navigator Aaron Swaney.

According to Swaney, only 33,000 out of 877,000 uninsured Missourians have actually enrolled in the insurance marketplace as of December 28, 2013. That's less than four percent of uninsured Missourians.

The problem is that 2014 is the year people must sign up for insurance or get charged a penalty fee.

Swaney says the reason for the slow rollout is that people don't have the information they need to sign up for an affordable plan.

"One of the biggest issues we face in terms of just helping people learn what their health insurance options are or just there's a whole lot of lack of information," Swaney said. "A lot of people say they don't know that they can actually get financial assistance and so they know that health insurance has been unaffordable for them in the past so they don't even bother to look and see if they can find something that they can afford."

But C. Bruce Cornett, chairman of the Boone County Central Republican Committee, says the reason that such a small percentage of people have enrolled is not because of lack of information.

"It's been good information about the bad system," Cornett said. "Now we're finding out that you can sign up but that doesn't mean you have health insurance because the back end isn't done. And I think people are very skeptical about what they're getting when they do sign up."

He says the real reason for the slow rollout is the insurance is too expensive.

"The premium is going up not only for people who are uninsured and are trying to get it for the first time, it's going to be expensive, and then other people who have had it for years, it's going to get more expensive," Cornett said.

 But Swaney doesn't agree.

"I would say that the majority of people who say that insurance is unaffordable probably aren't even bothering to look at what their costs are going to be," Swaney said. "You have to be willing to just go get help and see what your actions really are before just saying 'Oh I know it's not going to be affordable. I know it's not going to be affordable.'"

Cornett also says some people are just irresponsible, pointing to people who make more than $50,000 and still refuse to buy insurance. "People with the resources to have insurance never signed up for it, so why should they start now?"

For these reasons, Cornett doesn't see events like those on Saturday having a major effect on health care enrollment.

But Swaney points to history.

"With any big social program, I know that there are a lot of issues with rollout," Swaney said. "That was through Medicare Part D in the early 2000s, that was through Social Security in the '30s, that was through Medicare and Medicaid in the 60s, and it's a process. It's not like any of those programs, it was like year one everything was going great, but now they're fixtures in the U.S. and so I would say that just saying something is not going to work and then not trying it at all and then not providing a solution is not really an effective strategy."

If you plan on attending the event and purchasing health care insurance, the Family Health Center asks you to bring your 1040 and social security number.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Latest on the trial of two maintenance workers charged with misleading investigators after a 10-year-old... More >>
47 minutes ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:09:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people gathered for the grand opening of CenterPointe Hospital on International Drive Thursday. Governor Mike... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The influence of lower prices and convenience are affecting the way millennials approach primary care, according to... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU honored Dr. George Smith, the first Nobel Prize winner in university history, with a reserved space to... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Wednesday after a search warrant led to finding five gallon-sized bags of marijuana. ... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State House of Representative candidates talked public transportation and education, amongst other things, at a disability issues forum... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers have arrested one man after a home invasion Wednesday night, but are still looking for a second... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jurors on Thursday began deliberating the case of two Kansas water park maintenance workers accused... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was in a wheelchair has been found dead in a... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:52:34 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a St. Louis police officer has shot and wounded a suspect during a struggle... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:48:28 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say it appears that a man was killed after his car fell on top... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:35:41 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The National Rifle Association is backing Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley while claiming Senator Claire McCaskill will take... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in Target 8
(CNN) -- The former head of USA Gymnastics has been accused of removing documents linked to the Larry Nassar sexual... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:56:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A 78-year-old Fenton man drowned Wednesday afternoon at Lake of the Ozarks. The incident... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:39:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Centerpointe Hospital is opening a new location on International Drive in Columbia. The Tennessee-based company has one... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:55:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook has set up a "war room" at its California headquarters as part of its plans to avoid... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - November candidates want to earn your vote by discussing disability-related issues on Thursday. The City of Columbia... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:49:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The man killed in a helicopter crash east of Fulton on Wednesday has been identified as Charles... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
6pm 57°
7pm 54°
8pm 51°
9pm 50°