Central Georgian finds success with healthcare.gov

Only 1,390 Georgians have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace at healthcare dot gov as of early November.

That's according to numbers released by the Obama administration.

One man from Perry says after years of being denied from insurance companies for a pre-existing condition, he's finally covered through an insurance plan from healthcare.gov.

When the federal insurance marketplace launched on Oct. 1, Chris Johnson was ready to finally buy an insurance plan.

"I was thrilled," Johnson said. "In the six months after I left my previous job, I was uninsured and I could not get insurance."

That's because Johnson has Type II diabetes, a pre-existing condition according to insurance companies.

"I hardly look at myself as someone who is falling apart and uninsurable, but they did," Johnson said.

The wait to get covered through healthcare.gov took longer than he expected.

"I support Obamacare, but I was very displeased with the website," Johnson explained. "I was displeased that they rushed it out. The fact that they spent $600 million to set up a faulty website, as a taxpayer, that's disturbing."

Technical problems and error messages plagued the federally-run exchange, leaving few able to get through and actually buy an insurance plan.

"It was still a struggle, still clunky, still slow," Johnson said. "It was frustrating. It took me several tries before I gave up and waited until mid-November."

Finally, on Nov. 22, Johnson got through.

"In total, I probably tried 10 times. The 10th time is a charm," Johnson said.

Though he chose the cheapest plan, he says a $546 monthly premium and $12,600 deductible is hardly a bargain.

"I can afford it," Johnson said. "But there's no reason why that should be the second highest expense in the household after paying for the house."

To treat his diabetes, Johnson says he pays $4 a month for a generic prescription drug.

So why shell out hundreds more a month for health insurance?

"I am one vehicle accident away from economic ruin. I am one cancer diagnosis away from economic ruin without this law," Johnson said. "There's a safety net for me now, and I just don't think you can operate without that safety net."

Johnson says he has until Dec. 20 to pay for his plan, if he wants to be covered come Jan. 1.

But he has something else to take care of first.

"Christmas," Johnson said.

His gift this year is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that he's covered.

Do you have a health care story to share? Tweet 13WMAZ's Anita Oh @anita_oh or reach her on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.


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