Uninsured struggle to find healthcare options

3 years 11 months 3 weeks 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
(CNN) -- At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming... More >>
47 minutes ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:11:43 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — In ads and speeches, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is pounding Missouri voters with a single... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:19:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A multi-vehicle crash sent one man to the hospital with injuries right before the Wednesday morning commute.... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The man prosecutors accused of killing Lincoln University student Charon Session pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning. About... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:54:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri had to toss out giving its Nobel Prize winning scientist a parking space... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:24:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — No winning lottery ticket was sold for the latest Mega Millions drawing, meaning the estimated... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:14:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for a suspect after an armed robbery at a convenience store in... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:32:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- A new mobile pantry location through The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will open Wednesday afternoon providing... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:27:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LADDONIA—The Community R-6 School District is the second district to get new beef options added to its school menu. The... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:13:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department investigated a shots heard call on Tuesday evening. The incident happened at the... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:03:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Neighborhood Watch recently secured funding for next year. The Columbia City Council awarded them this money... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:17:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman will be collecting items to transport down to Florida in order to help the recovery... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:40:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – Burrell Behavioral Health introduced a medicine-first approach to its facilities in Missouri’s central region to help clients with... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:40:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Despite a wide gap in their campaign finances, Sen. Claire McCaskill and Josh Hawley remain locked in a... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:20:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri vehicle owners will be getting new red, white and blue license plates to commemorate the... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A New York man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of attempting to produce child pornography.... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 4:21:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Jerome Sally, a Hickman High School assistant principal, is suing Columbia Public Schools as a result of "systemic... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe made a stop in Columbia Tuesday to campaign for Proposition D, the gas tax... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
2pm 58°
3pm 59°
4pm 58°
5pm 57°