Single mother says she's left out of healthcare reform

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 7:01 PM

NORFOLK -- Taja Jessamy is a teacher and single mom who is concerned that despite the reforms to healthcare, she still won't be able to receive coverage.

Jessamy says she's grateful that her daughter, Genema, is a healthy child.

Since Virginia didn't expand Medicaid and she has a $14,000 annual income, Jessamy makes too much money to qualify for financial help on the new plans.

"To hear that it wasn't extended, it's depressing, cause it puts people in the position of, 'What am I going to do now?" Jessamy says.

The single mother says she's going to have to continue using the emergency room for care or the free clinics like the Hampton Roads Community Center Park Place Free Clinic in Norfolk.

Managers at the free clinic say they were also counting on Medicaid expanding in order to cover 400,000 Virginians who would have qualified, 4,000 of those would be their patients.

"It's heartbreaking. That's where the free clinics try to fill in the gap. So they have something to get them quality healthcare," says Chief Executive Officer Barbara Willis. "Right now, they get some federal dollars, but rely on mostly private donor contributions, patient payments and tax exemptions to float costs."

Chief Financial Officer Jason Azar says there will be a meeting in October and they are expecting a decision from them as early as October.

In the meantime, the Jessamy family will wait for answers and hope they'll be eligible for some sort of assistance.

For more information on who qualifies for the Affordable Care Act, how to sign up and how much it will cost you, visit our Healthcare Reform section and watch Healthcare: The Bottom Line Thursday, September 26, at 7 p.m. on ABC13.
 

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