Affordable Care Act Guide » Archetype Profiles

Helena Gudger, 26, pauses as she works on homework while taking a break between classes at her college in Phoenix on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. The 26-year-old Phoenix resident has gone the past four years without health insurance, but wants to sign up for private health insurance as soon as the new federal marketplace opens in October. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Costs worry woman, 26, who wants health insurance

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 11:45 am

PHOENIX (AP) — Helena Gudger is the type of person health insurance companies need on the books as the federal Affordable Care Act begins to roll out: Young, relatively healthy and hungry for coverage. The 26-year-old Phoenix resident has gone the past four years without health insurance, using clinics and the county hospital for checkups, routine tests and visits to a gynecologist. She pays cash, checks prices and tries to

Read Full Story

Archetype Profiles » Older Stories

  • Mich. smoker may stay uninsured unless he quits

    Posted on October 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    In this Aug. 29, 2013 photo, Eric Jones is seen outside of a party store after purchasing cigarette tubes and tobacco, the roll-your-own supplies used to fill his pack-a-day habit, in Lansing, Mich. The federal health care law requires insurers to accept all applicants regardless of pre-existing medical problems. But it also allows them to charge smokers premiums that are up to 50 percent higher than those offered non-smokers - a way for insurers to ward off bad risks. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Eric Jones has an incentive to end his trips to the party store for cigarette tubes and tobacco, the roll-your-own supplies used to fill his pack-a-day habit. The 40-year-old has no health insurance from his $9-an-hour job at an ice-manufacturing plant in Lansing. Under the federal health care law, he’s eligible for help from the government to buy insurance. But to qualify, he’ll almost certainly have

    Read Full Story
  • Health care law perplexing to business owners

    Posted on October 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Tim Holmes, left, and his wife Colleen Holmes, who own and operate Wheatfields Restaurant, stand outside their business in Clifton Park, N.Y. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. They were considering opening a third business but decided against it. One factor was the risk in expanding their staff beyond 50 full-time employees and having to provide federally mandated health coverage in 2014. Despite knowing the penalty provisions for noncompliance have been postponed one year, the couple said their margins are thin and the requirements and costs of the health care law are not yet clear. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Restaurant owners Colleen and Tim Holmes were considering opening a third business in a growing upstate New York suburb but decided against it. One factor was the risk from expanding their staff beyond 50 full-time employees and having to provide them federally mandated health coverage. Despite knowing the penalty for that part of the Affordable Care Act had been postponed for a year, the couple said

    Read Full Story
  • Health costs likely rising for many self-employed

    Posted on October 10, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Aaron Brethorst poses for a photo while walking his dog, Moxie, in Seattle on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. Brethorst says he doesn't have a problem with President Obama's health care reforms because he figures he’ll be able to afford quality insurance and he expects his coverage will be even better once the Affordable Care Act kicks in. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    SEATTLE (AP) — President Obama’s health care reforms will be a huge boost to the working poor but are likely to make life more expensive for Aaron Brethorst and others like him. The Seattle software developer and consultant doesn’t have a problem with that because he figures he’ll be able to afford quality insurance. He says his annual income is in the low six-figures, and he expects to receive better

    Read Full Story
  • Health insurance within reach for bipolar sufferer

    Posted on October 10, 2013 at 10:44 am

    In this Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 photo, 32-year-old Jessi Spencer-Hammac poses with her dog Rocco, in Tampa, Fla. Decades before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Spencer-Hammac thought she was just moody, a restless dreamer with grand plans who had trouble finishing projects. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    MIAMI (AP) — Before she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 32-year-old Jessi Spencer-Hammac thought she was just a moody, restless dreamer who had trouble finishing projects. At times, she alternated between being hyper-social and abruptly ending relationships. She also made rash decisions, such as moving across the country and losing contact for a couple years with her young daughter, who was living with the girl’s father at the time. Up

    Read Full Story
  • Medicaid expansion happy surprise for Colorado man

    Posted on October 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

    In this Aug. 29, 2013 photo, Morgan Kinney, 31, a clinical professional counselor working part-time while his girlfriend finishes medical school, sits on his couch in his his apartment in Denver. Kinney figured he’d have no choice but to pay for insurance in 2014 to comply with the new federal health coverage mandate, but has learned that his income makes him eligible for Medicaid under the new Colorado expansion program. Colorado estimates about 160,000 people will be added to state Medicaid rolls under the new parameters. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    DENVER (AP) — He makes just $10,000 a year as a clinical professional counselor, so Morgan Kinney decided to spend what little extra money he had this year paying down student debt rather than buying health insurance. The 31-year-old Denver man figured he would have no choice but to buy insurance next year to comply with the new federal health insurance mandate, so last month he entered his personal information

    Read Full Story
  • Medicaid politics affect low-wage pizza employee

    Posted on October 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Chris Gatliff, a 38-year-old diabetic, says he feels like a victim of politics. His home state, Oklahoma, opted against accepting the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The result is that thousands of Oklahomans who would have qualified under the expanded program are left in limbo about their health insurance. At the same time, a Medicaid-linked program called Insure Oklahoma that provides Gatliff with

    Read Full Story
  • Middle class family braces for higher premiums

    Posted on October 3, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    This Aug. 25, 2013 photo shows Steve Wolf, a self-employed stunt and special effects coordinator for film and television, who lives with his wife Maegan and their sons Clayton, 16, Paxton, 12, and Dashton, 8, in Austin, Texas. The Wolf family worries their income is too high to qualify for new tax credits implemented under the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)

    As many as nine in 10 Texans buying health insurance on the new federally run exchange will get a break on costs, according to federal health officials. Steve and Maegan Wolf won’t be among them. The Wolfs, who live in an upscale area outside Austin, make too much money to qualify for tax credits that will help other people afford coverage. That leaves them wondering how much they’ll wind up

    Read Full Story
  • Obamacare trade-off: low premium, high deductible

    Posted on September 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — You might be pleased with the low monthly premium for one of the new health insurance plans under President Barack Obama’s overhaul, but the added expense of copayments and deductibles could burn a hole in your wallet. An independent analysis released Wednesday, on the heels of an administration report emphasizing affordable premiums, is helping to fill out the bottom line for consumers. The annual deductible for a

    Read Full Story

Headlines of the Day