Insurance Dropouts Present a Challenge for Health Law By ABBY GOODNOUGHOCT. 11, 2015 Photo

Insurance Dropouts Present a Challenge for Health Law
By ABBY GOODNOUGHOCT. 11, 2015
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Stephanie Douglas in Yazoo City, Miss., decided she could not afford her subsidized insurance premium just a few months after signing up. Credit Andrea Morales for The New York Times
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YAZOO CITY, Miss. — Stephanie Douglas signed up for health insurance in January with the best intentions. She had suffered a stroke and needed help paying for her medicines and care. The plan she chose from the federal insurance exchange sounded affordable — $58.17 a month after the subsidy she received under the Affordable Care Act.

But Ms. Douglas, 50, who was working about 30 hours a week as a dollar store cashier and a services coordinator at an apartment complex for older adults, soon realized that her insurance did not fit in her tight monthly budget. She stopped paying her premiums in April and lost her coverage a few months later.

“When you owe on your house, on your truck, when you’re a single parent of a college student and you have other bills,” she said, “it just doesn’t work.”

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RELATED COVERAGE

Health Law Revision Is ApprovedOCT. 1, 2015
On Nov. 1, a new sign-up period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will begin, and insurers, health care providers and enrollment groups are ramping up campaigns to encourage 10.5 million eligible uninsured people to buy policies. But even as those efforts begin, the public insurance exchanges, also known as marketplaces, created by the law are facing another challenge: keeping the customers they already have.

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