President Obama promised that under the Affordable Care Act those who needed health insurance would be covered and that the American people wouldn’t be funding abortions. Unfortunately, it turns out that both of these promises were falsehoods.
According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2014 taxpayers funded over a thousand Obamacare health plans that subsidize abortion on demand—even late-term abortion—in defiance of the Hyde Amendment Obama publicly said he would honor.
Additionally, countless people have come forward and said that Obamacare actually denied them care. For example, in Utah three mothers haven’t been able to add their new babies to their health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. According to KUTV, Maggie Long, Robin Williamson and Shawnsi Szerszen attempted to add their newborns within the 30-day window of the child being born but each was denied.
Maggie explained that before she applied for health insurance through Obamacare, she was required to apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Policy (CHIP), which is a program offered by the state of Utah to help insure kids whose parents can’t afford it. However, each of these mothers didn’t qualify for CHIP because of their incomes but the marketplace insisted that they apply with them anyway.
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Maggie said, “We knew we wouldn’t qualify. We didn’t want to, but they said we had to.” In emails and phone calls, marketplace workers assured Maggie that the enrollment window would be extended to allow for CHIP to consider her application. Of course, CHIP denied her baby and then when she turned to the marketplace to try and add her daughter, they turn her away as well. “They denied us, saying we went over our time limit and there was no evidence we tried adding her to our insurance,” said Maggie.
Now Maggie says she’s protesting by sending marketplace workers copies of their own emails promising to extend the window. Robin and Shawnsi have similar stories and are trying to figure out how they will pay their unexpected labor and delivery bills. Robin said, “We can’t afford to pay $3500 out of pocket with all the other medical bills we have to pay off right now. I just want him covered.”
The frustration of these families is echoed by the insurance industry, says Arches Health Plan C.O.O. Shaun Greene. “It’s very frustrating, not just for them but for us because we would like to just add them. Insurance companies have been doing that for years. It’s not difficult.”
Greene says three families which contacted me are far from alone. “I wouldn’t say it’s a widespread problem, because not everyone is having a baby, but for people that bought their insurance through the marketplace and have had a baby in the past year, they would be going through this process,” he said.
Get Gephardt reached out to the people who run the healthcare marketplace, the US Health and Human Services Department, asking directly what new parents can do to make sure they have coverage for their newborns immediately and without hassle.
In a statement, a spokesperson said, “To avoid a delay in coverage, parents are encouraged to return to the marketplace to report a birth … as soon as they can.”
That answer frustrates Shawnsi who says she not only contacted the marketplace within the 30 day window, she contacted them while still in her hospital bed. “I’m very frustrated with them,” she said. “It’s something that you have to have and you get the run around if you have a life change.”
In the end, each of the families which contacted me received good news. Maggie and Jason and Shawnsi each report that after Get Gephardt’s calls to HHS, they finally got word that their insurance companies have been given the green light to go ahead and insure their babies.
Robin says that after weeks of fighting, and facing collections from the hospital, she also finally heard from the marketplace that her baby was going to be added to her policy after all.