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Uninsured Utahns

For the Beaslin family, health insurance is unaffordable due to asthma, a pre-existing condition.

Dulsi and Adam Beaslin from Sandy are uninsured small business owners.  Dulsi owns a nail salon, and Adam has a carpet cleaning business.  Dulsi and two of their daughters have asthma.  Considered a pre-existing condition, asthma puts the cost of any health insurance policy out of reach for the Beaslin family.
For two years, the Beaslins had only catastrophic insurance.  Then one day, after Dulsi started having double vision, she became concerned that she might have had a mild stroke.  The insurance company instructed her to visit the emergency room where she was given a CAT scan. The bill for her visit came to $3,700, but the insurance company paid only $100.  “We dropped our insurance after that, as it was hardly any coverage at all,” says Dulsi.   

Today Dulsi and Adam have $10,000 in medical debt. They can’t afford the $300 monthly cost of the asthma medication for Dulsi and her daughters, so they go without.  “Our state and nation needs health reform, so entrepreneurial families like mine can buy affordable health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions and aren’t left praying that no one in our family gets sick,” says Dulsi. 

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act helps the Beaslins in the following ways:

    • In September 2010, a temporary high-risk pool, called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)  will provide immediate access to insurance for Utahns who for at least 6 months have not been able to get coverage because of a pre-existing condition. 
    • Lower income Utahns will be eligible for subsidies to help them purchase coverage through PCIP, along with minimum standards of coverage. The plan must cover at least 65% of a patient care costs and cap out of pocket charges at $5,950 a year for an individual or for a family, $11,900.  The plan cannot exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions or charge older Utahns more than younger people.
    • Starting September 2010, insurers cannot discriminate against children based on pre-existing conditions.
    • In 2014, insurers cannot discriminate against anyone based on pre-existing conditions
    • Premiums will no longer be based on health status.
    • Individuals and families will be able to shop for and compare affordable plans on a new transparent, online marketplace called an Exchange.