From North Carolina News Service:
RALEIGH, N.C. – So far, more than 1,600 North Carolinians have successfully signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare.
But there are thousands more still trying to navigate the federal health insurance marketplace, and thousands of others trying to navigate changes to their health coverage for 2014 – which insurance companies say is a result of the ACA.
Lynn Quincy, a senior policy analyst with Consumers Union in Washington, is in Raleigh today, speaking out about what Obamacare offers to people.
“Everybody should have access to health insurance,” she says, “both the healthy and the sick, because the truth of the matter is almost no one can afford to pay out of pocket for a hospital visit or a major illness.”
Quincy maintains that while premiums offered in the health insurance marketplace may be higher than expected, it’s important to take into account that the coverage is more protective if you do experience an illness and there are tax credits offered to help offset the cost.
According to Consumers Union, a family of four shopping in the marketplace and making up to $94,000 a year is eligible for tax credit assistance.
Quincy says health care costs have been increasing faster than average inflation for more than two decades and she fears that the ACA is serving as a scapegoat for some insurers and lawmakers who don’t support it.
“There has been manipulation of what exactly is going on here and what exactly is attributable to the Affordable Care Act,” she stresses. “If you don’t like how much your rate went up, everyone needs to go talk to their state insurance regulator.”
Last month, Blue Cross announced that there would be large premium increases for about one-third of its 400,000 customers in North Carolina.
The insurer joins Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas in offering coverage through the federal marketplace, and Quinn says it’s important to shop around for the best deal.