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Some in La. lost in new health care gap

3 years 4 months 2 weeks ago February 05, 2014 Feb 5, 2014 Wednesday, February 05 2014 February 05, 2014 5:57 PM in Health
Source: WBRZ
By: Rebecca Buchanan

BATON ROUGE- A Louisiana man says he's lost in the gap between government assistance and private insurance, despite claims by the state that he should be covered.

Robert Reed says despite visits to numerous hospitals and attempts to get advice or help from several health care providers, he still can't get insurance he can afford.

"Once Obamacare and the website became available, we tried, but like I said we make too much money, and too little money at the same time, so we fall into that gap where we cannot get coverage," Reed told News 2.

The problem is unique to the 26 states which did not choose to accept a federal expansion of Medicaid coverage, including Louisiana. It leaves some people in a position where they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, and too little to get subsidies through the Affordable Care Act.

Calder Lynch, Chief of Staff for DHH, blamed premiums in the health insurance exchanges for making health care "unaffordable for a lot of people", and said they are trying to create state-level programs that meet residents' needs. 

However, Reed says if those programs exist, he can't find them and hasn't been able to get assistance.

"It's not right that 240,000 people have no options, what are we supposed to do, where are we supposed to go," he said.

Reed and his mother, Gilda, say they want the state to do more. They've written many letters to local officials, including Governor Bobby Jindal. Reed says their letters have gone unanswered.

"A state this great can find answers, they can take better care of their people," said Gilda Reed.

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