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Utah's Uninsured

Temporary agencies don’t offer health insurance, makes too much money to receive
Medicaid but not enough to
afford an individual plan……

Stanley C., Age 57

Stanley has been a carpenter most of his life and has been uninsured for the past 9 years. He works mostly for temporary agencies, and they don’t offer medical coverage. Stanley was recently hit by a car, fracturing his ankle and leaving him unable to work. He currently receives no income; nonetheless he was denied by Medicaid because he makes too much money when he is employed.

The situation becomes more complicated…
From his recent ER visit following his accident, Stanley still has unpaid ambulance fees, x-ray fees, and many prescriptions that have yet to be filled from the accident. He has no way of paying for this ER visit and other health care he may need for his recovery. He also has problems with his back and sciatic nerve which causes him severe pain when sitting. His back pain grew worse when he was unable to pay for a doctor. Eventually Stanley found his way to the 4th street clinic, which treated him regardless of his insurance status.
Re-entering the workforce…
Stanley would like to get another job when he can walk again, but he is missing several front teeth. This makes him self-conscious. He doesn’t have the thousands of dollars it costs to get a new bridge so he is left to deal with the dental problems somehow on his own.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be a big help to Stanley

Starting in March 2010, 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 for Stanley.

In June 2010, there will be new standards for non-profit hospitals to protect uninsured patients such as written financial assistance policies clearly stating eligibility guidelines & how to apply; protections from being overcharged, and measures that prohibit extraordinary collection actions against patients.

And in 2014, adults 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. 

Families may receive subsidies to help buy coverage from the state’s health insurance exchange.  Based on income, there will be a cap to the amount charged for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses will also be capped. Medicaid will expand to families making up to 133 percent of the poverty level.