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Special Report: Is Obamacare Working? Part 2 - KOAM TV 7

Special Report: Is Obamacare Working? Part 2

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Chantel Ring and Ashley Doss are two mothers living in Missouri.

Ring lives in Granby, where she takes care of her 3-year-old daughter on her own.

Doss lives in Carl Junction with her husband and their two daughters.

Earlier this year, both women were searching for a healthcare plan that was affordable. While their efforts were similar, their outcomes were different.

 "Everything else I have to pay, with rent and utilities and everything, the $200, there is no way it could have fit in there," said Ring.

She could not afford any of the plans. Her previous coverage, Medicaid, cost her $0 monthly. The lowest Obamacare plans would have cost her $160 and $180 monthly.

 "It was still more than I was able to do. And the coverage was out of pocket and everything and it was not affordable either."

 Looking at the numbers, Ring decided to opt out of insurance.

Doss' numbers were more optimistic.

"It  showed us that it was going to be a little less than a $100 cheaper for us," she said.

Prior to Obamacare, Doss and her husband paid $428 monthly for insurance. The plan she and her husband chose through healthcare.gov costs $334 monthly, saving the couple $94.

It also has other benefits.

 "Prescriptions are covered more," said Doss. "My husband's on a few prescriptions and his are covered a lot better than they were before. And doctors visits."

Ring and Doss' stories are examples of the failures and successes of Obamacare.

When it comes to the numbers, Howard Danzig, President of ECCHIC based in St. Louis, says consumers need to understand the true price of their medical needs.

 "They have got to know what things cost" said Danzig. "Not the premium, the cost of healthcare. And they have to stop equating an insurance label to healthcare."

Danzig says the insurance plans the Affordable Care Act offer are too minimal.

 "Prior to the ACA, there were more options as to how you could structure your insurance, and the insurance itself, for the purpose for which you were buying it, was substantially more affordable than it is. Now the options have been minimized."

Randall Kraft, of Kraft Insurance Services based in Joplin, also says the options can be unfair, for rates may be generated off services that are not always beneficial to everyone.

"That's the part that takes away from the individual choice for what they don't get to decide what they want, what they need, but they get to pay for it anyway, and the cost on it is substantial," said Kraft.

 From her numbers, Ring says the price tag is too high.

 Even if you think you can get help, they are not going to help you or anything, with costs or anything, and it's more expensive than people think."

Janet Lafon says consumers now have more choices than prior to Obamacare.

"If they want to go into the marketplace but they don't have to, they could also get coverage through private insurance insurers, as I said, employers, these are other options that are out there," said Lafon. "This is just a new option that makes it available to people who may not have been able to afford it before or people who have coverage, you know, it's just another option out there."

In regard to the money Doss and her husband are saving, Obamacare is working for them.

"You've got plenty of options to choose from and we just picked what was best for us and it worked out," said Doss.

The stories of Ring and Doss are two real examples of how Obamacare is working for some and not for others.

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