Some living without insurance hoping to find new plan
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The deadline is quickly approaching to be covered by January 1 by the Affordable Health Care Act.
While some people are waiting until the last minute to sign up, others are just finding out their plans won't roll over until next year.
Some Healthcare.gov navigators told Channel 3 many people have come to sign up, only to find out they're not eligible for coverage.
"We've been having to struggle and stretch everything to try and pick which medicines I can get this month," said Lisa Millard.
Millard, who has COPD, restrictive lung disease and asthma, has a long list of medicines she needs every day. The problem is she's not taking them -- she can't afford to.
"Just half of it is almost $600 a month and I can't afford to pay for it without insurance," Millard said.
She was one of 1.2 million Tennesseeans on TennCare, the state's Medicaid program. But her plan was dropped in September. Officials said she made too much money on disability to qualify.
But Millard isn't the only one scrambling to find coverage. Some Channel 3 viewers, including Jaime Thompson, shared a letter they got from CoverTN's partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield. It says those insured by CoverTN will no longer be covered after December 31, 2013 and should find a new plan immediately.
"We do have some frustrated customers who have gotten the bad news that their plans have been dropped, and we're trying to assist them," said Nancy Ridge, who has enrolled about 20 people since the Marketplace opened in October.
Ridge said one problem she runs into: many people wanting affordable health care are not eligible.
"You have to make a certain income in order to enroll in the Marketplace," she said.
Those eligible for coverage must make above the federal poverty level to enroll. That means your household income must exceed $11,490.
Millard said she hopes to enroll this week. Although coverage won't start until January 1, she hopes she won't have to go another month living the way she is now.
"I've ran completely out of my medicine, I have a couple of the rescue inhalers but I don't have any of my breathing medicine because I can't afford to go pay for it."
Millard said she tried enrolling online, but had trouble with the website. She plans on going to an open enrollment session this week.
The Medical Foundation will host several Affordable Care Act open enrollment sessions in December.
Navigators will answer questions about eligibility and enrollment procedures, options for insurance premium reductions and assist with enrollment process.
December 7, 10:00 – 2:00 pm Mt. Canaan Baptist Church 2800 N. Chamberlain Ave., Chattanooga
December 9, 11:00 – 3:00 pm Head Start 2302 Ocoee Street, Chattanooga
December 10, 11:00 – 3:00 pm Chattanooga Public Library, Downtown 1001 Broad St, Chattanooga
December 11, 11:00 – 3:00 pm Chattanooga Public Library, Downtown 1001 Broad St, Chattanooga
December 12, 11:00 – 3:00 pm Middle Valley Church of God 1703 Thrasher Pike, Hixson, TN
December 12, 6:00 – 8:00 pm Cleveland State Community College 3535 Adkisson Drive, Cleveland