With plenty of politicians hoping for the Affordable Care Act to fail, the last thing it needed was a poor rollout. As it turned out, the rollout was nearly catastrophic, and many people were undoubtedly frustrated by the technical problems with the HealthCare.gov website. That made the intervention of organizations like the SEA all the more important. The SEA long ago committed to making sure all Granite Staters have good, affordable health coverage and helping people sign up through the ACA was just an extension of that.
Today we’re sharing an ACA success story that likely wouldn’t have happened without the help of the SEA.
Katrina Kindel hadn’t had insurance for four or five years, and was about ready to give up on signing up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act when she called the SEA. With the help of Chris Porter, a certified application counselor at the SEA, Kindel ended up with a plan that will cost her only $23.20 a month.
Kindel said that she had previously received financial assistance from Concord Hospital, but wanted to sign up to comply with the law. She tried to sign up using the HealthCare.gov website, but was stymied. In desperation, she said, she reached out for help locally.
“Chris told me more in the 20 minute conversation than I’d heard anywhere else,” said Kindel, who works as a temporary worker. “He was so helpful.”
She said she tried again to sign up just before Christmas, but still had more questions. The day after Christmas while out doing errands, she decided to drop by the SEA office to see if Chris was around and available to help.
“We sat down and went through everything together,” she said. “I’m signed up to start coverage Feb. 1.”
Kindel said she ended up with a silver plan, though the bronze plans may have been enticing.
“I would have qualified for those bronze plans and not had to pay anything for premiums, but the deductibles were so high, it wouldn’t have made any sense,” she said. “I thought for $23.20 and a $175 deductible, it really made the most sense.”
Kindel said she’s still frustrated with some aspects of the coverage, primarily that Concord Hospital is not part of the network. She said her trouble with the process nearly had her ready to give up and pay the tax penalty.
“My biggest gripe is that it took all these hours of my life trying to decipher this,” she said. “If I hadn’t met Mr. Porter, I might have given up.”
Because the SEA remains committed to health care for all, and because she didn’t give up, Kindel now has a good, affordable health plan.