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Utah's Uninsured

Utah mom decides to stay home with her new son, but it means losing her family's health insurance...
New Parents Also Newly Uninsured

The uncertainty of whether they will have affordable access to health care weighs heavily on the minds of Craig and Tori Evans, new parents of a 3-month old son.  Until the end of January 2010, the family had health insurance coverage.  But then things changed.

Though Craig is gainfully employed, his job doesn’t offer health insurance benefits. Fortunately, they were able obtain coverage through Tori’s employer.  But once hert her maternity leave ended, the Evans family  have decided that Tori will stay home with the baby, The choice meant she and Craig would forfeit her employer's contribution toward their health insurance premium. They could continue their coverage through COBRA, but the full premium cost was completely unaffordable for them.

The Evans family felt they were between a rock and a hard place: they have a working family member but have no access to affordable health coverage.  They've been looking into their options on the individual market, but worried that the costs and the likelihood of denial due to pre-existing conditions may leave them back where they started: with no coverage they could afford.  “With a new baby, this is the last worry we want to have.  How will we pay for immunizations and well-baby check-ups?  What will happen if we get sick?” worried Tori. 


Here is how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect the Evans family:
  • There will be increased funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years. Community Health Centers charge a sliding fee scale based on income, thus making care more affordable
  • Starting in September 2010, 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 conditions
  • In September 2010, adult children will be able to stay on parents insurance until age 26 unless they have access to employer sponsored coverage, even if they are married
  • And in 2014, the Evans’ will be able to obtain insurance even with their pre-existing conditions; Individuals will be able to buy insurance through a new online, state-based marketplace called an exchange; and families may receive subsidies to help buy coverage from their state’s health insurance exchange.