How the Senate Proposal Puts Iowans at Risk: A Mother’s Story

IHA opposes congressional efforts to replace or repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the recently passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA), both of which threaten to roll back coverage obtained through ACA and Medicaid expansion, putting thousands of Iowans at risk. This is the story of one such Iowan. (We have changed names to protect privacy.)

“Janice” is a single mother, working a 40 hour-plus job in Spencer. Her employer offers an insurance option to employees; however, due to the employees’ cost this option was unaffordable for Janice and her teenage daughter. As the sole provider for her family, Janice is working very hard to provide for her daughter and to give her the opportunity to attend college. When Janice heard that Spencer Hospital had certified application counselors to help navigate the insurance market provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), she jumped at the opportunity to meet for guidance.

Without health care coverage, Janice and her daughter visited the physician’s office only as a last resort and often would suffer through illnesses. The family’s monthly budget didn’t allow for preventative visits, resulting in health care only being sought in emergent situations. When such situations would arise, the cost of emergency care often went unpaid, creating stressful situations for the family, knowing that debts were compiling.

After Janice met with a counselor, it was determined she was eligible to receive more than $600 tax credits monthly and a silver plan premium of less than $80 per month. This option allowed Janice and her daughter to gain affordable insurance and start receiving much needed preventative care.

After Janice secured insurance coverage, she was diagnosed with diabetes during a routine visit and was placed on stabilizing medicine. With this preventative care, she remains in good health. Without the ACA, Janice or her daughter would not have had health care access. Janice’s daughter is currently enrolled in college and remains on her mother’s plan. Janice is very thankful for being able to get preventative care and keep her diabetes in check. However, she expresses that the best feeling is knowing her daughter has health care coverage and being assured that if an emergent situation would arise, her child can get the care needed to stay healthy and focused on her learning.