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The good, the bad, the results of Obamacare - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

The good, the bad, the results of Obamacare

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SHREVEPORT, La -

A tale of two citizens affected by the Affordable Care Act here. One is affected in a good way; the other not so good -- though he created his own happy ending.

Debra Lindsey is a self-employed realtor in Bossier City. And Andrew Parks is a cancer survivor whose story was told by Congressman John Fleming on the House floor last month.

"His ordeal couldn't be much worse," Fleming said on November 14th, saying Parks was "hammered twice by Obamacare."

First, Parks was cut back to part-time as manager at the Louisiana Boardwalk theater. Then he was notified that their health plan was being discontinued since it did not meet standards under the Affordable Care Act. His living and medical expenses were put in critical condition.

"It's been a fight to take care of the obligations I have," Parks says.

Fortunately, Parks just found a new full-time job at Willis-Knighton's Pierremont campus, where he's on the hospital office staff.

"This job -- it really was a blessing," Parks says. "It gives me the hours I need. It's given me health coverage I need."

Across the Jimmie Davis bridge at her office in Bossier City, Debra Lindsey says of the health care law, "For me the outcome was great!"

She checked it out after her individual health plan kept going up. Since she's healthy, she picked out a plan that still has a one thousand dollar deductible. But it has better coverage at about half the cost.

"I have prescription drugs paid for. I have office visits paid for. I have a co-pay. Hadn't had that in years. And I'm paying $133 a month," she says.

Lindsey says she got help from an insurance broker for free. The broker helped explain the plans and found her the cost breaks under the law according to her adjusted gross income. She's still under Blue Cross and has the same doctor.

To those who are skeptical of the controversial law, Lindsey says, "Try to remove the politics of it, and just think of yourself as going into an insurance agency and checking out the new premiums available."

Parks has a different view.

"It's a good idea to want everybody to have coverage," he says. "But I just feel like it's going about it the wrong way. Overall it seems to be hurting more people than it's helping."

Parks was talking about the nearly six million other health plans that've been canceled across the country so far, along with people who've been made part-time -- the same situations he was in.

While Parks has that new job and coverage at Willis-Knighton, employees there are going to be paying more for their health coverage starting January first. In a letter to employees dated November 4, the company said that expanded coverage mandates under the Affordable Care Act are raising their costs; therefore employee premiums are going up.

One example in the letter shows that coverage for employees and their families will go up the most. It'll be 45 dollars more out of their paychecks every two weeks.

Lindsey has some tips that helped her with the ACA. She recommends using an insurance broker to shop the different plans and determine your premium costs. She also advises that you have next year's income information handy.

But if you go it alone, Lindsey says you need to have Adobe Acrobat on your computer. And she says you should disable your pop-up blocker so you can access all the information.

Lindsey says it took her three hours with a broker. But she says it was worth it.

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