Publications

Coverage is Critical

Editor's note: With Republicans laying the groundwork to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, CHA is urging legislators to put people above politics and proceed in a way that preserves and ultimately broadens health care access. Beginning in this issue and extending for several issues, Catholic Health World is publishing profiles of individuals whose lives have been improved by ACA-enabled health insurance coverage. Those stories will be compiled on the CHA website. We invite ministry members to contribute patient profiles of their own to this project and to use the stories to reach out to legislators with the message that health insurance matters to the dignity, quality of life and well-being of individuals and families. To contribute profiles, or suggest individuals for profiles, please email jvandewater@chausa.org.

w170115_VulnerablePopulations-aVulnerable populations wonder what is ahead given potential for repeal of health reform

Catholic Health World – January 15, 2017
w170115_MarketplaceInsurance_CoverageIsCriticalBoxInsurance enrollment counselors who work with low-income people are used to hearing heartfelt "thank-yous" when they help their clients sign up for insurance. But it isn't every day a counselor also receives the promise of delicious eats. Erricka Hill, a social worker with CHI Memorial in Chattanooga, Tenn., discusses health care insurance enrollment with a client. She helped him to navigate the healthcare.gov insurance marketplace.

When Joy Salas, a certified application counselor for Mostellar Medical Center in Bayou La Batre, Ala., recently told a client that she qualified for insurance on the insurance marketplace with very low out-of-pocket costs, the woman "just about started crying," said Salas.
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w170115_MarketplaceInsurance-aMarketplace insurance gives Texas minister access to medications

Catholic Health World – January 15, 2017 
w170115_MarketplaceInsurance_CoverageIsCriticalBoxTrevon Buchanan of Texarkana, Texas, needs a lot of stamina and pep to keep up with his full life. The married father of four is a youth minister at Texarkana's Westside Church of Christ, where he directs summer camps, weekend retreats and mission work with energetic children.

Buchanan, age 41, a kidney transplant recipient, is insured through a policy he purchased on a federally run exchange at healthcare.gov. The medications that prevent his body from rejecting the kidney cost a few thousand dollars per month; and he would not be able to afford that cost without insurance coverage. Buchanan was underinsured for one month last spring and struggled to pay for his medications. Friends and Good Samaritans at his church helped with the costs of the medicine.
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w170115_HospitalAdmissions-aHospital admissions supervisor uses ACA insurance as bridge into retirement

Catholic Health World – January 15, 2017 
w170115_MarketplaceInsurance_CoverageIsCriticalBoxTrudy McCarty, 63, isn't afraid of hard work. She was 15 years old when she started working, but come Feb. 28, she's retiring from her position as an admissions supervisor for same-day surgery at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, La.

She has newly signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and while she knows the law has its critics, she says: "Thank God for this." She has worked at Our Lady of the Lake for 40 years. She'll retire at age 64, a year shy of Medicare eligibility. She looked into coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act — better known as COBRA, which provides people a way to temporarily continue their health coverage at group rates — and suffered sticker shock. Her premium would have been roughly $600 a month. "Absolutely, it was a shocker," she said.
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