News / USA

Clinics Provide US Health Care Enrollment Help

Clinics Provide US Health Care Enrollment Helpi
X
December 06, 2013 1:23 AM
The debate over the Affordable Care Act continues. But the White House says improvements to the website have dramatically boosted enrollment. In some places, trained counselors are helping people navigate the website and they also help enrollees understand how such insurance works.
Greg Flakus
The debate over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, continues. But the White House says improvements to the website have dramatically boosted enrollment. In some places, trained counselors are helping people navigate the website and they also help enrollees understand how such insurance works.

Most Americans get their health insurance through their employers. But, despite being employed, Marcela Gonzalez does not have health insurance. She is seeking help at a Houston clinic operated by a non-profit organization.

The Affordable Care Act's website has been plagued with problems since its launch in October. So Gonzalez was unable to enroll in a program the first time she tried.

"The system was very slow, and we had another appointment, and I came back and we worked on it, but the system had the same problem again," she said.

But persistence eventually paid off.

"On the third appointment, we finished with everything. I was in the system and enrolled," said Gonzalez.

Irma Pettway, who helped Gonzalez with her application, said enrollees also need help understanding insurance jargon like co-pay, out-of-pocket expense and deductible. "As we go through the whole application process, we are continually educating them about every step of the way."

That's necessary because many poor people served by the clinics have never had health insurance, according to the non-profit organization's marketing director, Marisa Ponti.

"Harris County, which is in the city of Houston, is the most uninsured county in the whole United States. So for us, any program that will increase access to health care is welcome," she said.

Opposition Republicans say the program is causing insurance companies to drop thousands of people from their current plans, however, and ultimately will prove too expensive.

House Speaker John Boehner says it should be scrapped. "The president's health care law continues to wreak havoc on American families, small businesses and our economy, and it is not just a website. This bill is fundamentally flawed."

Ponti says Obamacare, for all its flaws, should be given a chance. "It takes time for people to assimilate all this information, and I think the problems will be tweaked [fixed] as we go along and we all are learning. So we just need to be patient."

The health care law could face an even bigger challenge if too few young, healthy people enroll, though, offsetting the cost of insuring the poor and chronically ill.

A poll released by the Harvard Institute for Politics shows that 57 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 disapprove of the law.

Obama, however, remains confident that younger people will come around and enroll in large numbers before the deadline at the end of March next year.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: SilenceDoGood
December 07, 2013 12:28 PM
A look at the cost structure of the ACA, for those who are interested. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Good luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Y-5rjsaJY&list=TLz23cR0tZZkbEhgY3yYkmUhYwd6-NM7gg


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 06, 2013 3:51 AM
Yes, I agree it takes time for anybody to assimilate any system.
I am interested in how many Americans would be covered by Obama care after all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid