Some Iowans Struggle In Between Gaps of Healthcare Coverage

Iowa Watch takes a look at holes in the current Iowa health care coverage system.

The following are two excerpts from two larger stories on Iowans struggling with the current healthcare system from IowaWatch.org and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. The Burlington Hawkeye, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, and the Gazette also contributed to the total report.

Veronica Tessler had insurance all her life until this year when she quit her full-time job with benefits in favor of starting her own business, Yotopia frozen yogurt shop downtown.

She applied for an individual health care plan and was denied coverage.

“It was shocking for me to learn that I was denied coverage after being insured for my entire life and being a healthy 27-year-old. It’s incredibly frustrating and it’s wrong,” Tessler said.

Tessler is dealing with what policymakers and insurance companies call a pre-existing condition. 

Read more about Iowa Citians dealing with Healthcare problems in the Iowa City Press-Citizen's full version of the story.

Cynthia Houston didn’t panic when she lost her job at the Mount Pleasant School District in 2008. She looked for another job and paid the extra money to keep insurance through COBRA.

She found work but couldn’t afford insurance there. That was when she had a breakdown.

“I guess you’re in that nowhere land of: you don’t really qualify for help with this, you’re not old enough to get offered (insurance) for senior citizens,” Houston, 60, of Winfield, said. “You’re kind of out there on your own.”

Geographic limits, alone, ensure that one program Houston was referred to – IowaCare – does not reach all Iowans who need it, even though it is considered to be a last resort for Iowans ineligible for other programs that fund accessible, affordable health care.

One in 10 Iowans lives without health insurance. Estimates range from 312,600 by the Kaiser Family Foundation to 342,000 by the U.S. Census Bureau. They live in a state where some health care professionals — although not all — predict there won’t be enough available primary care providers to handle growing demand for health care in Iowa from aging baby boomers, working people with inadequate insurance coverage and others entering the health care market.

This is an excerpt of the full story. Read the Full Report Here


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