Affordable Care Act introduces new "Simple Choice" in November

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COLUMBIA — The Affordable Care Act will introduce a new health care plan on Nov. 1, called "Simple Choice". The new option aims to provide more coverage for catastrophic problems and will make plan shopping easier, according to the ACA website.

Cale Mitchell is the executive director of RAIN central Missouri, a Columbia based non-for-profit which provides an array of health care services to 37 counties, focusing primary on HIV care as well as testing and outreach.

Mitchell said patients diagnosed with HIV are required to take many pills in order to survive. He said he hopes the new "Simple Choice" plan will create a more affordable option for those living with the disease. Mitchell said, at times, the medicines can cost up to $1800 per month out of pocket. 

“It’s an expensive system to buy into if you don’t have employer-based insurance, if you’re in that gray area where the tax credits really aren’t impacting you much,” Mitchell said. 

He said he still sees holes in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, despite strides the legislation has made.

“You’re having to prioritize and make those tough choices on whether you’re going to take the hit on the taxes or if you’re going to have to shell out that monthly premium,” Mitchell said. “Overall to the system, the benefit really does fall onto the patient side.”

Open enrollment for plans like the "Simple Choice" will open to Americans Nov. 1 and registration will run until Jan. 31. People who do not have health insurance next year may face possible tax penalties that could exceed $700 per person.