• Residents say medical costs can rival mortgage payments

    By David Olinger
    The Denver Post

    POSTED:   01/24/2016 12:01:00 AM MST

    Colorado Obamacare issuesGlenwood Springs residents from left to right Kerri Newland, Dana Marlatt, her husband Richard Backe and Robin Waters, right, are pictured at the home of Backe on January 19, 2016 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Health insurance premiums are exorbitant in the valley with people, including Backe, Marlatt, Newland and Waters paying upwards of $1500 a month. On top of that their deductible is $6,000. There are only two insurance companies available to people in the valley: Rocky Mountain Health Plan and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

    GLENWOOD SPRINGS —The new era of affordable health care bypassed Terri Newland.

    She runs a small land-use planning business with her husband, who has diabetes and needs hearing aids. She lives in one of the most expensive places anywhere to get medical care. For people buying their own policies, health insurance premiums in her western Colorado region jumped by an average of 25.8 percent this year.

    Her premium costs alone shot up more than $300 to $1,828 per month, or nearly $22,000 a year. Her policy also contains a $4,000 deductible each for her and her husband, and she’s still trying to figure out what it will pay when he needs medical equipment.

    They looked at other options with lower deductibles, but “we couldn’t quite swing the higher premiums,” she said. “It’s actually like another mortgage payment. I have friends who are uninsured right now because they can’t afford it. Insurance is hard up here.”

    In Colorado’s high country, few things loom larger than the price of health insurance — a situation that worsened this year when a low-cost provider closed its doors.

    Elected officials in mountain counties say they have a crisis on their hands. Some frustrated residents talk of moving to Utah for cheaper medical coverage. Others are driving hundreds of miles to Denver to see a doctor.

    To read the rest of this story, click (HERE):

    Posted by Dana West @ 11:36 am for Colorado politics, Issues, National politics, ObamaCare |

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