Uninsured Under the ACA: Millions of Americans Can't Afford Coverage

[Ed. Note: Our HCAO organizer has been contacted by a reporter who is interested in finding stories of people who are not covered under the ACA. If you are uncovered and willing to talk about it, please contact Ross Lampert at our Portland office, 503-206-6709. ]

Yahoo News  December 15, 2014
by Elizabeth Renter

Rocky Rush, a 37-year-old single father from Nebraska, has gone without health insurance for years due to the cost, and the Affordable Care Act hasn't changed that.

"I can go without medical coverage, but my children need it," Rush says.

Affordable health insurance for all Americans was one of the cornerstones and selling points of the ACA. And while the law has helped reduce the proportion of uninsured Americans from 20 to 15 percent, according to The Commonwealth Fund, it has left millions without coverage.

These uninsured Americans, falling into a gap created by the ACA, are too poor to receive assistance on their health insurance premiums, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid, putting them in a difficult predicament when costly medical bills come due.

When Rush last shopped for coverage -- while working full time at a local events center that didn't offer benefits he could afford -- he says he didn't qualify for subsidies under the ACA. But because Nebraska didn't expand Medicaid, he didn't qualify for that either.

"Both of my kids are on Medicaid," says Rush, who has a daughter, 5, and a son, 3. Rush lost that job and briefly had access to Medicaid, but once his unemployment benefits kicked in, he made too much money and again had to go without coverage.