A woman was surprised when she received an appointment with a new health care provider and was billed more than $10,000 for her first-year health insurance premium.
But her surprise was cut short when she was told she would not be able to afford her first month of coverage.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Associated Press that her doctor recommended a $1,400 annual cap for her premiums.
She was billed $1.7 million, $933 more than she would have been eligible for, even though she was billed at the lowest rate for the year, said Dr. Stephen V. Wolk, the doctor who treated her.
The first month in the plan, she was offered $1 million and the rest of the year was free.
That’s a huge savings for her, but it’s still too high a rate for her income, she said.
Vegans and other Americans can expect to pay more than the federal minimum wage for coverage in the new year, which is $7.25 per hour, or $17.75 for people making up to about $25,000 a year.
The federal minimum is $5.15 per hour.
The federal government has set up a website to help people find insurance coverage, and a federal website says it will provide free coverage to the most eligible.
But many people don’t have access to that information and won’t know if they can afford the premium.
More: How to find a plan in the first yearOf course, most people would be able help themselves, Wolk said.
“There’s a lot of people who just don’t know.”