Obamacare insurance website up and running, gives sticker shock to Akron shopper

AKRON, Ohio - An estimated 800,000 people visited the new and improved www.healthcare.gov Monday to shop for affordable health insurance. But what one Akron woman got was a bad case of sticker shock.

"I thought it was supposed to help us," Liz Binns said in frustration. "I can't afford it. I cannot afford it."

Binns had been trying to navigate the government's health care website since October to find affordable insurance for her husband, a 60-year-old who has a pre-existing condition and whose job doesn't offer coverage.

What she finally found for him Monday carries a premium of more than $400 a month and a $5,000 annual deductible.

"How can I pay this kind of money out?" she asked. "It's going to take at least a second job and praying that I would make enough on a second job just to pay for this health insurance."

Assistant Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda advises anyone who feels they cannot afford the insurance to talk with a Certified Application Counselor. She said there could be a simple solution to the problem or other coverage options.

You can also get information by calling 1-800-318-2596.

Meanwhile, the application deadline for those who want coverage to begin Jan. 1 has been extended one week to Dec. 23. Skoda, however, recommends people stay with the Dec. 15 deadline in order to get it done.

Binns isn't sure yet just what she's going to do.

"I thought this was going to be the miracle for us," she said, "and it's not."

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