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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid