Uninsured struggle to find healthcare options

4 years 1 month 2 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
URANUS, Mo. (AP) — The Uranus Examiner, a small Missouri newspaper whose name inspired chuckles and groans when it... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 6:33:20 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson held a conference Friday afternoon discussing what needs to be done to fix abuse... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 3:43:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - A new daycare is trying to open up for business, but it’s right next to a nursing home... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 2:15:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in Sports
KANSAS CITY - President Trump spoke about changes to Project Safe Neighborhoods in Kansas City on Friday. He praised... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 1:07:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying Friday before members of Congress behind closed doors, setting the stage... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 12:30:33 PM CST December 07, 2018 in Continuous News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses added a smaller but still-healthy number of jobs last month, while the unemployment rate... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 12:07:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police officers responded to a crash involving a car and a pedestrian at the intersection of East... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 11:43:00 AM CST December 07, 2018 in News
STOCKHOLM - University of Missouri Professor Emeritus George Smith and his fellow Nobel laureates in Chemistry, Physics and Economic Sciences... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 10:55:00 AM CST December 07, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A judge sentenced Terrance Wynn to life in prison for a murder on Halloween in 2016. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 10:33:26 AM CST December 07, 2018 in News
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has launched an investigation into a small Chilean religious order of nuns after... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 10:27:28 AM CST December 07, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump has decided to nominate former Attorney General William Barr to be the next permanent head... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 10:14:53 AM CST December 07, 2018 in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri high school student faces a felony charge after authorities say he posted on social... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 9:23:00 AM CST December 07, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Jefferson City Public Schools are considering changing school start and end times next year. Officials... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 06 2018 Dec 6, 2018 Thursday, December 06, 2018 9:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2018 in Continuous News
STOCKHOLM - MU Professor Emeritus Dr. George Smith has officially touched down in Stockholm, Sweden to begin a week of... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 06 2018 Dec 6, 2018 Thursday, December 06, 2018 5:54:00 PM CST December 06, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Former President George H.W. Bush made his final rest in Texas on Thursday, but his trip to the... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 06 2018 Dec 6, 2018 Thursday, December 06, 2018 5:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft will investigate Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley over allegations that he... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 06 2018 Dec 6, 2018 Thursday, December 06, 2018 5:43:00 PM CST December 06, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Small business owners in Columbia are meeting Friday morning to discuss how November election results will affect them... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 06 2018 Dec 6, 2018 Thursday, December 06, 2018 5:28:00 PM CST December 06, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 19°
1am 21°
2am 21°
3am 20°
4am 18°