Affordable Health Care Act not so affordable - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Affordable Health Care Act not so affordable

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
While some say the Affordable Care Act has been doing a good, consistent job of getting insurance to those who need it, to those who already had it, another problem has cropped up.

Cindy Biram has been a hairdresser for 40 years and knows the toll that takes.

"A lot of people have had back surgeries. A lot of people have had carpel tunnel surgeries with your wrists," says Biram.

Like 80 percent of Americans, Biram has a health insurance plan with a deductible. That's what you have to pay before health insurance kicks in.

"In order to afford my health care I have to have a $5,000 deductible," said Biram.

And the way this shakes out for Cindy is what's happening to many people in the same boat.

"I've held off getting more treatment with my back and I've held off with anything that's outside of just the everyday physicals and getting medications because I still have the $5,000 to pay before the insurance starts to kick in."

"She's paying a lower premium, but she's taking on more financial risk," said Dr. Joe Thompson, who studies the health care industry.

Over the last ten years, he has watched deductibles double in size. The Affordable Care Act is partially to blame, but he's quick to point out, it's more than that.

"Many say we have a medical industrial complex that continues to invent new things, some of those new things help people unfortunately some of the new things may not add value. They add expense, but not value," said Thompson.

And as the marketplace evolves, Cindy has to deal with it.

"I don't have a plan. I'm hoping that I don't have anything serious come up before I'm able to get on Medicare," she said.

Cindy's dilemma is no surprise to two major health care research firms.

A recent survey found that four out of ten working age adults skipped some form of care because of cost.

And according to a Mercer health care study, 2014 showed the largest one year increase of enrollments in high deductible plans.

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