News / USA

Clinics Provide US Health Care Enrollment Help

Clinics Provide US Health Care Enrollment Helpi
X
December 06, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid