Enrollment for Affordable Care Act opens
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 15:10
"Obamacare" is a heavily-loaded phrase many health care myths are attached to. Some common pieces of misinformation about the act is that the medical community is against it, young adults will be driven to bankruptcy and it’s a government takeover of health care, according to Dr. Scott Poppen, the Utah State director for Doctors for America.
“I think that there’s a huge amount of confusion among the population in general, probably even more so for the younger population about what this all involves,” Poppen said. “Even physicians are confused about it.”
The Affordable Care Act was signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Since then a number of features included in the law have gone into effect, including free preventive services for people receiving Medicare.
Oct. 1 marks the beginning of open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace in each state.
Affecting USU Students
Kennedy Tripp is a 29-year-old student at USU in his junior year of studying business. After working for Obeo Professional Real Estate Photography Services for six years, a company that offered him health care insurance, Tripp was laid off and returned to Cache Valley to finish school.
Tripp recently turned to Avenue H — the marketplace for health insurance in Utah — to purchase health care for the first time.
“If you don’t have health insurance through your parents or through your job, this is where you go to choose health insurance,” Tripp said. “I chose it based on which plan offered partner benefits and it was the only plan at the time.”
Tripp and his partner Mark Overocker, a 26-year-old sophomore studying nursing, are in a legal domestic partnership and decided to purchase insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield based on its partner benefits.
Tripp and Overocker were involved in an auto accident on July 31 that caused their truck to roll four times. Each of them was billed $20,000, and their insurance benefits didn’t start until Aug. 1.
“There’s no way to get around that,” Tripp said. “However, our insurance is not allowed to remove us because of pre-existing conditions. Before this, it was just allowed. ‘Oh we see you’re diagnosed with cancer, we’re kicking you off our insurance.’ This is a huge benefit.”
Poppen said the most common misconception he hears is Obamacare is a government takeover of health care.