Uninsured struggle to find healthcare options

5 years 4 months 6 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
JEFFERSON CITY - One group of former service men and women is making a difference across the state providing help... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:10:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY - New technology installed by Ameren could provide more responsive service if severe weather comes to Jefferson City.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 6:45:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia neighborhood watch is still relevant despite social media and sites like Nextdoor. Neighborhood watch programs encourage... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:51:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The American Cancer Society's annual "Stick a Fork in Cancer" campaign welcomes a new restaurant. BluTaco joins... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:34:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe today filed to run for election in 2020. Kehoe has served as... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:12:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia Public Works plow crews are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, to prepare for possible... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 4:54:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY— Tuesday at the Missouri State Capitol, representatives heard testimony from people in regards to a house bill that... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 3:25:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and Auditor Nicole Galloway filed to run for governor on Tuesday. It was... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:26:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- The Civil Rights Movement was a time of racially charged protests and marches. Some activists took to the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:10:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri joined 38 other states in an investigation into Juul Labs on Tuesday. Those states are looking into... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:59:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College announced Tuesday it is laying off 49 employees across the nation, including 25 at its Columbia... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- An announcement from Bishop Shawn McKnight at Father Tolton today revealed the school's $6.2 million-dollar debt will be completely... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:46:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of JUUL Labs on Tuesday, according to Missouri Attorney General Eric... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:33:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Snuggling next to my kitties while their furry chests softly rumble is a proven antidote to the day's... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:16:39 AM CST February 25, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man connected to a deadly shooting during a home invasion in Columbia in early February.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:17:28 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
FULTON - Three people were arrested in Fulton Tuesday morning after one person fled from a traffic stop. A... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:03:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In the state of Missouri, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated residents are unable to vote. There is... More >>
2 days ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 9:42:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - When snow falls in mid-Missouri, the sounds of shovels scraping across the driveway mean freedom to Larry Shinn.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 9:33:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 22°
6am 23°
7am 24°
8am 29°
9am 33°