Stories About the Value of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
S.S., Connecticut - The Harm of Lifetime Limits
I suffer from the motor form of an autoimmune disorder called chronic inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). The treatment for this involves bi-monthly six-hour infusions of IVIG (Gammaguard). In April 2010 after approximately two years of infusions, I was informed by my insurance company that I had reached my lifetime maximum [coverage limit] and that they would no longer pay for my treatment. Two appeals to [them] and one to the State of Connecticut Insurance Department failed to reverse this decision. After a few months with no infusions, I started to go into a rapid health decline. The only thing that ultimately saved me was the ACA’s elimination of lifetime limits that went into effect in January 2011. I fear that the proposed repeal and replacement of the ACA will have devastating effects on my ability to maintain these medically necessary infusions and dramatically impact my life…
J.C, Wisconsin - Accessible Coverage When They Needed It Most
My name is JC and I live [in Speaker Paul Ryan’s Congressional District] in Wisconsin with my husband and two college-aged children. I would like to tell you why the Affordable Care Act has been key to my husband’s recent success starting up his own business.
My husband had been employed as Vice President of a small business. Every year, he was involved in looking into health insurance for the company. The premiums increased every year by 20 to 25% (this was before the ACA), resulting in decisions to decrease coverage and increase out-of-pocket costs and deductions. When ACA passed, my husband found ACA coverage for the company. It was far less costly than the previous coverage.
In 2014, the company, due to financial difficulties dropped [health] coverage. I work at a non-profit organization. I have worked here for many years, working with people with disabilities and the elderly. It is a great organization. I was able to sign up for coverage here, but the non-profit cannot afford to offer coverage to families. …
My husband and two college students have pre-existing conditions. We would not be able to afford my husband’s or daughter’s medication and medical care if we had no coverage. My husband went to healthcare.gov and signed the three of them up for an Affordable Care Act marketplace plan.
In September of 2014, my husband was laid off from his job. He started looking for work, but finding employment when you are in your 50’s is not easy. … Finally, he decided [he] would start his own business….going for the American Dream! We are very lucky; he’s been very successful. I’ll tell you, he could never have done this without having health insurance through the [ACA] Marketplace.
If the ACA is repealed, we will be without healthcare and one of us will need to leave a job we love or end the dream of owning a business and try to find employer sponsored healthcare. If people don’t have healthcare security, if we have to rely on employer sponsored insurance, an America of small business entrepreneurs is almost an impossibility. Healthy, insured citizens can make America great.
R.S., Connecticut - The Security She Needed to Pursue the American Dream
I am the founder of [my own business]. It has been my dream to own my own music therapy practice and because of the ACA, I do.
I have been underemployed almost my entire professional life and told I was over qualified thus could not earn more money. I was unable to make ends meet and in addition to all of this I was sick for nearly 2 decades with Crohn’s Disease. I filed the paperwork for my company in 2009, but when I called multiple insurance companies, I was told I could not be covered due to an illness I was born with. I waited until 2015 to join, because I was afraid the law would be repealed and then would be stuck with already mounting medical bills.
When I called Access Health CT, I was shocked at how friendly and knowledgeable the staff were. I told them who my physicians were and what my budget was and in minutes I had plans to choose from. I was also amazed and grateful that they took into account my student loans. It was so hard to get funding for my medications because I “made too much money” but after rent, loans and existing medical bills, I had nothing left and lived on credit. I accepted tax credits for a year and a half while I got my business off the ground and now thanks to the many people who supported me and helped me grow my business I no longer need them.
I am grateful to President Obama and all those who voted for this law because now I moved out of my parents’ house, I can pay my bills, I am in remission and I have a successful business helping older adults with Dementia and Related Disorders. I needed a hand, not a handout and I thank everyone because this has completely changed my life for the better.