The central part of the Affordable Care Act went into effect last week. People are being offered insurance plans on health exchanges. There has been so much demand for the plans that on Tuesday, healthcare.gov was having issues with its website.
People who already have insurance are also seeing some big changes. Eyewitness News has had viewers calling in, telling Channel 9 the Affordable Care Act isn't affordable for them.
Tiffany Slayden got a letter in the mail that says she can't keep her current health insurance plan because it isn't allowed under the Affordable Care Act. It simply doesn't cover enough, like maternity and newborn care, which is required under essential benefits under federal guidelines. Blue Cross Blue Shield picked a similar plan for her that does, but Slayden said her family of five isn't growing.
"It is absolutely not fair," Slayden said. "In fact, that's why we opted for an independent plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield because we found that my company plan offered maternity and newborn care, and that's not something that we needed."
Slayden didn't want to pay for it if she wasn't going to use it. Slayden's family will now be paying more for the similar plan if they don't qualify for subsidies. The new monthly premium in the BCBS letter is $1365.50.
"I calculated it," Slayden said. "After taxes, it's around an additional $9,000 that we need to make a year just to pay for the premium increase."
Eyewitness News called BCBS and they said everyone's costs will be different. Many premiums will increase for people who didn't have to pay for certain benefits before. Channel 9 met other people in Charlotte who are very happy with the Affordable Care Act.
"It's helping everybody some way somehow," Angel Martines said.
Martines said that a few paying more is for the greater good. He believes the new health care law will help the nation move forward.