Oklahoma Watch
3:54 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Faces of the Uninsured: Oklahomans Weigh Their Options On The Health-Care Marketplace

Listen to Kurt Gwartney's conversation with Oklahoma Watch reporter Warren Vieth.

Hugh Meade hopes he can find a health plan that costs less than his home mortgage. Katie Bolin is looking for an insurer who won’t turn her down for pre-existing conditions. Ricardo Lopez Jr. wants coverage so he can stop going to free clinics.

Meade, Bolin and Lopez are among several hundred thousand uninsured Oklahomans whose lives could change when the next phase of the Affordable Care Act takes effect.

Starting Oct. 1, Oklahomans can begin applying for private-market policies through a new federally-operated online health insurance marketplace. The policies will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Q&A on the health-care marketplace.

Many people remain confused about the details, although the federal government is offering information and pre-registration at www.healthcare.gov or 1-800-318-2596. The coverage options available through the health-care act, widely known as Obamacare, won’t necessarily work for everyone. But for people like Meade, Bolin and Lopez, they might make sense.

Here are their stories.

HUGH MEADE

Hugh Meade
Credit Bonnie Campo / Oklahoma Watch

Age: 43

Location: Oklahoma City

Occupation: independent sign contractor

Estimated 2014 income: $28,000

Estimated silver plan premium: $84 per month

Estimated bronze plan premium: $26 per month

Read Meade's story...

KATIE BOLIN

Katie Bolin
Credit Bonnie Campo / Oklahoma Watch

Age: 35
Location: Yukon
Occupation: licensed practical nurse
Estimated 2014 family income: $65,000
Estimated silver plan premium: $307 per month
Estimated bronze plan premium: $255 per month
Read Bolin's story...

RICARDO LOPEZ JR.

Ricardo Lopez
Credit Shaun Hittle / Oklahoma Watch

Age: 30
Location: Tulsa
Occupation: legal assistant
Estimated 2014 income: $25,000
Estimated silver plan premium: $286 per month
Estimated bronze plan premium: $237 per month
Read Lopez's story...

CHRISTY JOHNSON

Christy Johnson
Credit Bonnie Campo / Oklahoma Watch

Age: 38
Location: Oklahoma City
Occupation: long-distance customer service rep
Estimated 2014 income: $18,720
Estimated silver plan premium: $ 188 per month
Estimated bronze plan premium: $130 per month
Read Johnson's story...

BEN MOORE

Ben Moore
Credit Bonnie Campo / Oklahoma Watch

Age: 33
Location: Oklahoma City
Occupation: restaurant server
Estimated 2014 income: $22,000
Estimated silver plan premium: $259 per month
Estimated bronze plan premium: $182 per month
Read Moore's story...

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