The collapse of the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has officials at one Central New York agency breathing a sigh of relief…for now. Director of Insurance Programs at ACR Health Steve Wood says while the future is still uncertain, ACR Health will continue to provide insurance to anyone in need.
"It's business as usual. As long as the doors are open and as long as we're here, we're insuring people. That's what counts...you give people health care, and give them the ability to access health care, and that's what it's all about. It's a right for people to have healthcare.”
Wood says while the Affordable Care Act was successful in New York State, other states were not as lucky. Despite New York’s success Wood says there is still uncertainty for many families.
“There's always a questions of what's going to happen. Our clients probably have the same question. I'm going to have this for three months, then what do I do.”
Wood says there are no income requirements to apply for insurance through ACR Health. He also says people with chronic illnesses need to be covered as well as older people who are not eligible for Medicare.
“As you get older, things happen, so people are getting it as a safety net. That's what health insurance is anyway. People want to avoid emergency room visits. They want a primary care doctor. You don't want to be hit with a $400,000 bill from a hospital. Insurance will correct that for you.”
While Governor Cuomo has helped the New York State of Health (health insurance exchange) become successful and stable, Wood says ACR health is worried about losing federal funding. But he’s staying positive.
"My hope is that things will remain the same. New York State of Health will be here. Medicaid will be done the same way. We'll still have expanded Medicaid. We'll still have the essential plan. All of those things have made a significant difference in people's lives. That's a positive thing that's happened and we don't want it to go away.”