Healthcare reform post-deadline

KIMT News 3 – We’ve passed the deadline for signing up for the Affordable Care Act, but how has it effected those in our area.

White House officials say more than seven million people are registered for health insurance through the online marketplace.

Hospitals like Hancock County Health Systems in Britt are getting ready.

Vance Jackson is an administrator at the hospital and says they’ve already seen more patients as Medicaid coverage expands.

“The state now allows us to do a program called “preemptive eligibility” where patients come into our E.R or into our clinic and we can screen them for coverage through expanded Medicaid,” said Jackson.

Affordable Care continues to be debated, as many feel the cost is not worth the benefit.

While there are short-term options for insurance, some are still opting not to buy it and instead pay the fines. In some cases that fine is one percent of their household income and some say, that cost may be cheaper than actually buying insurance.

It’s a gamble some say isn’t worth the risk.

“If you don’t get sick, if you don’t have any healthcare costs, the gamble is going to pay off. If unfortunately you do have something happen, maybe an accident or an illness or anything else the risk is not going to pay off for you,” said Steve Kammeyer, Director of Insurance Services with Iowa Farm Bureau.

Jackson says the focus should be long-term as hospitals around the country are also thinking ahead and to preventive care.

“There is no deductible related to preventive care. That’s where the government creates the incentive for us to offer more of those services,” said Jackson.

If you’re one of those who did not sign up for the healthcare insurance and plan on getting some short-term coverage, you’re asked to make sure that coverage will meet the federal requirements.

In a survey by e-Health last month, 64 percent of short-term providers say they were not sure if they met standards.

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