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Affordable Care Act is expensive for former Burlington dentist 

Dr. Chris Davis was shocked to find that his health insurance program had been dropped, due to the Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare is a hot topic in the news today. People from both sides of the political spectrum are fired up about the new changes coming to healthcare access and more specifically, insurance plans.

All U.S. citizens are now required to have some sort of health care plan through the Affordable Care Act, some Americans may be  shocked by their new or updated health  insurance plans.

Dr. Chris Davis recently retired after practicing as a dentist and facial surgeon in Burlington, N.C.  after working for twenty years with patients and their payment plans. In September, he received a letter from his insurance provider.

“So our premium  was roughly $8,400 a year. The new premium was going to be $17,100 a year. That’s $1,400 a month,” Dr. Davis said.

So why the dramatic increase? Davis’s plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is not approved to be carried in President Obama’s landmark healthcare law, which is aimed to bring better coverage to Americans.

Davis is not sure if that’s the case.

“I didn’t know about this grandfather thing. I’ve heard the president say for four, five years that if I like my health care plan, I get to keep it. My wife and I like our health care plan. We thought we were going to get to keep it. So i was shocked. We both just went, “Are you kidding me?” he said. 

Davis is not alone. Millions of Americans have insurance through private individual providers and some are finding their plans are being dropped because they do not meet the Affordable Care Act regulations.

The President apologized last week to people like Davis whose coverage dropped, especially after after a comment he made in 2009.

“If you’ve got health insurance, if you like your doctor, if you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you” President Obama said.

Despite the apology, Davis was still without an affordable insurance plan and with the Dec. 15  federal deadline to find a new policy looming, he knew he had to act fast in order to avoid government fines

He found his solution in an unlikely place.

“It’s called Samaritan’s Ministries. Its for Christians. It has pre-existing conditions and all that but under the Affordable Care Act there is a narrow little carve out that if you are in a company that is, in essence, a co-op, a faith based co-op, you can go with that co-op and not get penalized,” Dr. Davis said.

Instead of staying with Blue Cross Blue Shield and paying more than $1,400 a month, or $17,000  a year, he now pays $315 each month through Samaritan’s Ministries Christian co-op.

Though it may not be the ideal plan, Davis says it is a better deal than his old plan.

Dr. Davis urges others to do their homework and assures people that there can be more options for affordable healthcare, other than what is presented on the healthcare.gov website.


About the author: Meredith Stutz

Meredith is a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio who has a passion for serving her community through honest and fair reporting. She is an Elon Communications Fellows and is majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She has been a member of Elon Local News since 2012 and is currently serving as senior reporter. Meredith interned at 60 Minutes in New York, WLWT and WCPO in Cincinnati. Follow her on Twitter @MeredithStutz