Starting October 1, the Affordable Care Act will expand coverage to millions of low-income Americans and improve Medicaid, yet it remains a contentious topic on both sides of the aisle.
“It's hard on us poor people here in West Virginia, when they cut something out on us,” says Charles McCann of Parkersburg. “We don't have anything now to live on."
A few local agencies are offering options.
"It's called an open marketplace and this is where people can come who have no insurance coverage at all,” says Bertie Atkins, administrative assistant at the Wood County Senior Citizens Association.
The enrollment period continues.
"If you don't have some kind of insurance by March 31 you may be penalized in the year 2014,” Atkins says.
The Affordable Care Act is due to roll out in just a few short weeks and that's making some people unhappy.
"I think this is going to add cost to everyone and personally I think that every person in the U.S. is entitled to insurance, but they should have to pay for it the same as you and I,” says Toni Stidman, president of the Parkersburg Women's Club conservation department.
Pricing will continue to rise.
"In 2015 doubles, goes up higher and in 2016 it's really, really high,” Atkins says.
The Care Act faces a difficult future.
"We can't get eye care, we can't get dental care or hearing care, we can't get none of that unless it costs us an arm and leg and we can't afford it,” McCann says.
The whole goal according to Atkins...
“Is to get everyone on some kind of affordable healthcare -- that's what it's for and people in the area can come here and can apply."
Stidman is very concerned.
"'Cause I think it's gonna be the ruination of our country, really,” she says. “I mean, it's going to lose a lot of jobs, which it already has and I think it's sad."
The president doesn't have Charles' support.
"He's wanting to shut everything down for us; never again will I ever vote for him,” McCann says.
Highmark is the only insurance carrier in West Virginia at the moment. You don't have to worry about it if you're on Medicare or Medicaid.
Wood County Senior Citizens Association is here to help and for more information go to healthcare.gov.
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