November 1 marks the start of the 2022 open enrollment period for the federal government health insurance market. Meanwhile, many Americans will be relying on employees of federal call centers to help them navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
But these ACA call center workers are struggling to afford their own health childcare costs, according to a new report conducted by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union.
“It really hurts to know that I provide insurance to other Americans and cannot afford to go to the doctor.”
Critics of medical coverage say that “the same workers the federal government trusts to help millions of Americans access affordable health care are struggling to afford theirs,” the report revealed.
Read on to learn more about the report’s findings. If your finances are strained due to unpaid medical bills, consider borrowing a personal loan when interest rates are near their all-time low. You can visit Credible to see offers tailored to your needs without affecting your credit score.
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ACA employees pay more than the US average for health care
The CWA analyzed the high-deductible health care options offered by Maximus, a major federal contractor that employs thousands of workers at 11 Medicare and Medicaid call centers across the country. The report found that the reimbursable costs for accessing health care under the Maximus plan are nearly $ 3,000 higher than the national average.
Additionally, basic health care plan premiums cost $ 995 more in 2021 than the US average for similar plans and 26% more than ACA plans with similar deductibles.
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Federal contract workers, including call center employees mentioned in the report, enjoy certain salary and benefit protections under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act of 1965 (SCA). But the basic health care plan offered by Maximus has a deductible of $ 4,500 for health care and prescriptions.
Even when you have health insurance coverage, high deductibles can make it difficult to keep track of health care costs, especially for people with chronic illnesses.
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“I find it absolutely appalling that we answer questions about insurance all day, every day, and have a deductible of $ 4,500,” said Trinity Davis, an ACA call center employee based in Hattiesburg. , Mississippi.
Maximus offers a health insurance plan with a deductible of $ 1,500, which costs employees an additional contribution of $ 1,950. Premium costs are on average 30% higher than ACA plans with a similar deductible, and the plan costs nearly $ 3,000 (42%) more than the national average, according to the report.
Coping with medical bills can be a financial burden, especially if you have overdue and unpaid medical bills. Consider using a personal loan to pay off medical bills a fee low fixed rate. Consult your estimated price for free by filling out a single form on Credible.
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What to do if you are struggling with medical bills
The call center workers highlighted in the CWA report aren’t the only consumers struggling with medical debts. Almost one in 5 Americans has unpaid medical bills, according to a recent poll. In addition, hospital bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in this country.
If you’re having trouble paying for your medical care, consider the following options:
- Research your legal rights. Federal law requires nonprofit hospitals to offer financial assistance programs such as low-cost charitable care and interest-free payment plans to low-income, uninsured patients who meet certain eligibility requirements, according to the National Center for Consumer Law (CLB).
- Negotiate the cost of care. Medical billing discrepancies are common, so make sure you’re not double-billed or billed for services you didn’t receive by requesting a Detailed Explanation of Benefit (EOB). Use a healthcare cost comparison tool like Bluebook Health to make sure you haven’t been overcharged for a service.
- Borrow a personal loan. Personal loans are lump sum loans with a fixed interest rate and monthly payments. They can be used for just about anything, including paying for hospital care or paying off medical debt.
If you do decide to take out a personal loan, be sure to seek the lowest possible interest rate for your situation by comparing the offers of several lenders on Credible.
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