“Paul Vondra is just the sort of person the architects of Obamacare had in mind.
The 59-year-old Bellevue resident is a temporary worker contracted through a New Jersey agency to work as a mail clerk for a major local bank. He doesn’t own a car, so he bikes each day to his job in the Strip District.
His agency has offered him a choice of two Affordable Care Act-qualified plans. But Mr. Vondra, who makes less than $25,000 annually and has no dependents, said the cheapest plan carries a monthly premium of $165, or $800 a year, and a yearly deductible of $2,500.
Also, the plan’s co-insurance — the amount he would be responsible for after he has met his deductible — is $4,500, while out-of-pocket hospital costs are capped at $10,000.
“It might as well be $10 million,” he said.
He’s not alone. Officials at local health centers and clinics say they’re seeing more people like Mr. Vondra whose access to insurance has not translated into access to care.”
Annette Fetchko, administrator at the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center, Downtown, said the center has helped secretaries, security guards, custodians, seasonal construction workers and others who have insurance but who still can’t afford to fill prescriptions or follow through on a doctor’s referral to see a specialist.
As a result, she said, the center has broadened its mission, with a focus on ensuring access to care regardless of insurance status.
“At the end of the day, the underinsured are no different than the uninsured,” she said.” - Affordable Care Act: Access to insurance is no guarantee a person will have access to care, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 09/05/2016
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