Lost in affordable health care around Muncie IN
Deadline looms Monday Many still without coverage
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Robert Davis did not pick up health benefits when he retired because they were too expensive.
And Jim Schultz lost his coverage when his employer decided to stop providing the benefit.
Those were just some of the stories, including a homeless man who never had insurance, that could be found Saturday as Open Door Health Services trying to help hundreds or even thousands in eastern Indiana that still have not signed up for affordable care.
Problems with the online website, those still opposing mandatory health care and others feeling they just don't need it contribute to the wait besides whether the program will even work.
Davis said he was unsure how the program could work among those without means and could not afford to even to pay the bare minimum for coverage.
Schultz, who had one of his feet in a walking cast, said he needed coverage for his current condition.
Marla Asberry, a health care navigator for Open Door, said the agency had been slammed in recent weeks with people wanting to apply. And Open Door is booked up Monday, the deadline, with even more people.
Six people were working through the dozens who waited about an hour on Saturday. Most just signed up and waited to pick a health plan later.
Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, said many people still needed help signing up and choosing a plan. Representatives of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and MDwise were around to offer insurance.
Alex Gayheart, an assessment specialist with Anthem, agreed hundreds of thousands of people were identified just months ago still without insurance. Anthem offered gift certificates and other giveaways to sign up.
Actually, a tax credit is available for those who sign up and there are other credits for those without means or have limited income.
And if you don't sign up, taxpayers could face a 1 percent penalty on their 2014 income tax returned that graduates with family.
One man came to the event Saturday to to make sure he did not get a tax penalty from affordable care.
Besides health care navigators, a representation of the Indiana Department of Insurance was around to help with questions about Medicare. Almost one million Hoosiers are covered by that health care and many have questions about their supplements and other insurance and the impact of affordable care.