The Affordable Care Act and you: part 20

By WEEK Producer

February 19, 2014 Updated Feb 21, 2014 at 9:17 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- A man in Tazewell county didn't think he have to sign up with the Affordable Care Act, but now is glad that the program is around.

Little did David Reed know that when the government's health care website was launched in October, that he would need to use it.

"I have a high suspicion that it will be like a new car payment that I will have to pay every month forever without ever getting the car," said David Reed.

Reed is 55 and was retired in a workforce reduction the Midwest Gen Powerton after 30 years as a utilities engineer.

He thought he'd be getting health insurance as a company benefit for retirees.

But in the fall, Midwest Gen's parent company, Edison Mission, filed bankruptcy, and was sold to NRG of New Jersey.

"Apparently from the notices I've received, I'm no longer eligible to participate in the retiree medical benefit program because EME, as an entity, is no longer in existence," said Reed.
Roughly 30 retirees from the Midwest Gen Powerton facility, and another 30 at the Bolling Brook station, will lose their health insurance benefit. The target date for that is the end of March."
Reed's wife is eligible for health insurance through her job, but she hasn't been there long enough for him to go on her policy.
So David, while relieved the government option is there, is concerned the program can't be sustained.
"If something has to be continually subsidized every year for decades or more, that tells you on its own merit, it can't pull its weight," said Reed.
The deadline to purchase insurance under the ACA is March 31.

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