Ms. Young Jai Shin, Dry Cleaner Owner, Chicago, IL: ACA Success Story

Young Jai Shin came to the U.S. from South Korea in 1981 and became a citizen in 2000. She initially had health insurance from a national carrier, but she could not keep up with the payments and was uninsured for five or six years. Unfortunately, during this time she broke her ankle and ended up paying $17,000 out of her own pocket for her medical care. After that incident, she went to a regional insurance carrier for coverage. She needed some kind of health insurance, she said, in case of another accident or illness. She paid $264 a month for coverage, but with limited coverage and she has a deductible of $7,500.  

Young thought she could get better insurance with the new health care reform. She logged into Healthcare.gov in November, and everything went smoothly until she had to verify her identity. The site requested a copy of her driver’s license, but she did not know how to scan it and couldn’t just enter the number from the card. She tried calling at least three times, but the people who answered couldn’t help. When Young was finally able to scan her license, she was notified that her information would be processed in the Kentucky center. Young waited patiently, checked her status online daily, and received the same message: Your identity is being verified.

By mid-January, she received a letter stating her ID was processed. Happily, she logged on to the website only to get the message that her identity was still being verified. Young called again, and this time the person answering was very helpful and informative. She got all of Young's information over the phone (same information that is required when online), but the website went down and she was asked to call back and give her information all over again. Young was ready to give up trying. 

A short while later, one of her long-time customers (Kent Wilcox, ACF Region 5 Regional Administrator) called and asked how her ACA enrollment process was going.  Young told Kent she had gone through the same process - the questions, the waiting, website issues, and starting all over again - with no progress.  Kent encouraged her to continue trying. Though she was frustrated, Ms. Shin did try again and successfully enrolled. 

Young commented that she is older but in good health.  She wanted the silver coverage, even if it was more money.  She now pays $249 a month but qualified for a tax credit.  She also has dental coverage, which she never had before.  Blue Cross sent her lots of information, recommended generic medication and advised her that she will now have free mammograms and colonoscopies.

Her coverage started April 1st. She is now paying less for more coverage.  Young Shin says she is “100 percent happy camper now, very happy that I have Obamacare”!