Some Struggle to Cover Entire Family Through Marketplace

Who to Contact for Help:
Andy Bolt, Blue Ridge Legal Services: (540) 433-7319 for more information
RMH Health Care
Harrisonburg Free Clinic
Harrisonburg Community Health Center

HARRISONBURG, Va. Some families shopping for health insurance through the federal marketplace are having trouble covering everyone in their family.

Children who qualify for Medicaid, cannot be on a subsidized family plan through the marketplace.

Christy Swisher dreaded Feb. 1, the day her son would no longer have health insurance.

"It made me feel like I was failing my children, it is a fear no parent ever wants to go through," said Swisher.

When her income increased, she was no longer qualified for Medicaid; although she was able to get a subsidized plan through the federal marketplace, her son cannot be on the plan.

Andy Bolt, a navigator for Enroll Virginia, said this is one of the most common questions asked.

He said, the guidelines for kids to be eligible for public insurance programs, like Medicaid, are much more generous than for adults. Even if their parents can get an insurance plan, children have to get their own health care plan they are eligible for.

"I mean, it is always going to be the case that children that are eligible for public insurance programs are going to be weeded out of the market place and sent into these other programs. But, as far as trying to eliminate people falling into the cracks, I mean that is something that is in the process of trying to be ironed out," said Bolt.

In this case, families like the Swishers need to go through the appeals process, which could take up to 90 days.

"It's a fear. It is like a black cloud hanging over me, every single day," said Swisher.

Bolt said it is important to remember that children are eligible for health insurance, they may just need to get their own plan. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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