12 OYS: Woman struggles to find doctor under Affordable Care Act

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / April 21, 2014

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Imagine having to spend hours on the phone just to find a doctor only to learn the closest specialist that accepts your insurance is over an hour away.

It is becoming a common reality for folks who have insurance through the Affordable Care Act

"Everywhere else I called for insurance it was like $300, $400 a month and I was like I can't pay that," Melissa Murray said.

When health insurance became low-cost through the ACA, Murray who lives in Aiken said she thought it would be smooth sailing. That was before she tried to use her insurance card.

"It's the new insurance? I was like yeah. The Affordable Care Act? I said yeah and she was like we don't take it," said Murray. A common reaction said Murray who has tried to find a orthopedic specialist for a knee problem.

She first tried Consumer's Choice Health Insurance but there were none in her area. Murray switched to BlueCross BlueShield to save 40 bucks on her monthly premium. But she said the closest specialist on this plan is 80 miles away.

"It's $53, but it ain't worth it if you can't go nowhere to use it," Murray said.

Even armed with a list of local insurance recommended doctors, still no luck.

"Every time I call the doctor's office to make the appointment they say no," said Murray.

Frustrated, she called a representative at Healthcare.gov, hoping to find a specialist nearby.

"The marketplace is supposed to call me back in like 24 hours to let me know if they can find one in this area," Murray said.

While she waits to hear back from the marketplace, she is not very optimistic and is weighing all of her options.

"I don't know what I'm gonna do but if I can't find no doctor that I can go to I will cancel it," Murray said.

Unfortunately if someone cancels their ACA coverage they could be fined on next year's income taxes.

What about enrolling with another insurance plan through the marketplace? Not after March 31st unless you get married, divorced or have a qualifying life event. And open enrollment does not begin until Nov.15.

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