Help is on the way for people who don't have health insurance - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Help is on the way for people who don't have health insurance

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(09/03/13) - If you are one of the half million in our state without insurance, some help is on the way.

Tuesday, Michigan lawmakers gave the final green light to expand medicaid eligibility to more low income residents.

Many times uninsured Michiganders turn to emergency rooms, because going to a primary care doctor is so expensive.

Tuesday's action by the House is going to change that.

"I was stung by a bee and I'm allergic," said Denise Whitt.

Even with no insurance, Whitt was forced to head to the hospital. Now she's stuck with a big bill.

"I have no health coverage, so with hospital bill and ambulance bill, we'll be paying on it for a long time," she said.

Action taken in Lansing will help Whitt, and about 500,000 Michigan residents who have no health insurance.

The House gave final approval to legislation that'll make more low-income adults eligible for insurance under the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act.

"A lot of people don't know much about Health Care reform," said Jim Milanowski, with the Genesee Health Plan.

He says there are a lot of questions out there, especially when it comes to how the Department of Community Health will implement the reform.

"Some people will say it's free healthcare, which it isn't. People are going to have to pay co-pays and premiums. There will be subsidies for certain income levels," he said.

Whatever those costs are, Whitt says it may be worth it.

Right now, she's bracing for the cost of being without insurance. She's not sure how much her insurance will cost her.

"I just got out Saturday, I don't know, I'm a little afraid to find out to be honest with you," she said.

It's unknown exactly when enrollment will start, but people will be covered in March.

The medicaid expansion bill now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk, and he plans to sign it.

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