Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 17, 2014

The hangups of healthcare

Affordable Care Act tax credits tough for many Kokomo residents to obtain

(Continued)

Watson, who works at Buffalo Wild Wings, is looking to secure health coverage because she doesn’t work full time. She previously received insurance through the Healthy Indiana Plan and is looking for some basic care and a doctor with whom she can develop a good rapport.

Without the help of a navigator, Watson said, signing up would not have been so easy.

“There are some little glitches, but this has actually run a little more smoothly for me than some of the other people I’ve heard from,” she said. “I have a couple of co-workers that tried it that said it was a mess. I got a lot of help (from the navigator).”

For those who don’t qualify for coverage through the ACA or Healthy Indiana Plan, Project Access remains a viable option, Rahl said.

In 2013, Project Access provided coverage to 783 clients, partnering with providers to donate nearly $1.9 million in medical services and an additional $589,000 in prescriptions.

“If there was a Project Access in every county of America, there would have never needed to be an Affordable Healthcare Act,” Rahl said. “We already do it — we give them a primary care physician and a clinic to go to at little or no cost at all.”

With more local people being denied coverage in the marketplace because they don't have enough income, Project Access is seeing between 30 and 40 new patients per month.

Regardless of how the ACA continues to evolve, D’Agostino said the intent and long-term benefits of the new marketplace will ultimately provide a needed service for many.

“In the long run, people will be healthier,” she said. “A lot of people don’t understand the health benefits that come from this. It might take a generation or two to understand that insurance is important and preventative practices will allow us to be healthier and live longer in the long run.”

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