Sense of Community

The Affordable Care Act and what it means for individuals and families can be a bit overwhelming for those not familiar with it.  But a program offered by the University of Missouri Extension, part of the Health Insurance Education Initiative, is shedding light on the ACA for residents across the state.

The wintry weather kept many people home during a recent program at the Joplin Public Library.  But two people came, and that was enough for the hour-long program to go on as planned.

Although kids might not look forward to a visit with the dentist or eye doctor, the care is important for keeping their teeth and eyes healthy.  But for many families, that care isn’t affordable at a regular dentist or eye doctor’s office.

The Affordable Care Act is expected to result in an increase in the number of people who have dental and vision coverage, especially children.

Dentist Dr. Gary Buzbee, with Buzbee Dental in Springfield, says it’s important for kids to have access to dental care for a couple of reasons.

Navigating One Woman's Story

Dec 18, 2013

DORI MEYER: This plan does have a lower out-of-pocket maximum for the year.

PAMELA LANGHOFF: Yeah, but by the time you pay $600 there – it’ll be more than $600 there [total premiums for the year], it’s gonna be about the same.

Inside the second floor Community Room of the Springfield Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, 62-year-old Pamela Langhoff compares health insurance plans through Missouri’s federally-run online marketplace, or exchange. It’s her third meeting with Dori Meyer, a licensed insurance navigator through the healthcare firm Primaris.  

RANDY: In its current form the Affordable Care Act draws a line between businesses with less than 50, and more than 50, full-time employees.  Those with fewer than 50 fulltime workers are not obligated to offer healthcare packages, while those with more than 50 must, under the law, provide affordable health coverage.  To hear how one very large local employer has been dealing with the ACA, I talked to Andy Hedgepath, Benefits Manager for Cox Health Systems.

ANDY HEDGEPATH: Cox Health  has increased the size of our workforce to over 10,000 employees now.