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Bethel Mom in Health Care Ad Doesn't Have ObamaCare (Yet)

A local single mother did a commercial for Access Health CT, however she hasn't tried to sign up through their system yet.

Bethel High grad and former resident (she and her 3-year-old son recently moved to Ridgefield) Jessica Byrnes — Jessica B. in the Access Health CT spot — said she agreed to do a commercial for the state health care exchange in order to raise awareness about the difficultly some Americans have acquiring affordable health insurance.

The ad was shot this summer, when Byrnes' son still did not have health insurance. He was conditionally accepted into the Husky Health program a month ago, however the process has been trying, according to Byrnes, and the Husky plan does not provide enough coverage.

They have yet to apply through Access Health CT for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), pending the result of a court case with the child’s father.

“There are people who get up and go to work every day and pay taxes but can’t bring their son to a neurologist,” Byrnes said, explaining that she did the commercial to raise awareness and not in support of any specific plan or political angle.

When her son was 2 years old a doctor recommended that he visit a neurologist for a brain scan. At that time, Byrnes was still legally married to the father and did not meet the income requirements to qualify for Husky Health.

After the divorce was finalized, Byrnes applied for Husky again but the application sat in limbo.

“People who have applied, their applications haven’t been opened for months,” she said, citing budget cuts at the administrating agencies.

After speaking with an attorney in Ridgefield, they were accepted into Husky Health about a month ago but Byrnes would like to have access to all the options available under the new health care exchange.

She is currently involved in a court case with the father for financial assistance (child support) and, if successful, will probably enter a higher income bracket — making her ineligible for Husky but likely low enough to qualify for subsidies under ObamaCare.

With reports of problems with the site sprouting up since it was launched, if and when the time comes to apply, Byrnes said she will check back with Bethel Patch about the process.

Either way, her goal is the same.

“I’m a real person in this country that is uninsured,” she said. “I wanted to make people aware of how difficult it is.”

Have you tried to get insurance through Access Health CT? Reach out to Aaron@patch.com to talk about your experience.
Bill Hillman December 05, 2013 at 07:28 AM
Nice ad, but Jessica, what I think I really heard was your desire to be able to pay for medical needs, not necessarily "insurance" to have that pay for you. The stated outcome is to be able to reduce past bills and get needed care. Why do we all assume that's only through insurance, and then only through obamacare insurance? The difficulties many are having with signup, and many who have told me their costs increase show the big gap between expectations when the ad was filmed and the reality of the miserable failure the roll-out has been. The obamacare nightmare is only starting, having turned risk-based "insurance" into a purchasing cooperative destined for worse failure. What obamacare does not do is actually deal with the structural costs of health care itself. Good luck with your situation. I think you were misled, witnessed by later events and the continuing problems. Again, good luck in your personal situation.
Dan Gaita December 05, 2013 at 03:04 PM
She should be eligible for a Husky Health Care Plan through the State of CT Department of Social Services?
Paul Improta December 05, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Rear-ender accident is the other drivers fault. She should've put in a claim against the driver of the other car to cover her injuries, lost wages, etc. Even if the other person had no car insurance, she could've collected from her own uninsured motorist coverage. She should contact an attorney before the statute of limitations is up.
Paul Improta December 07, 2013 at 05:55 PM
The Healthcare.gov website is an identity thief's dream. I'm sure organized crime is all over that turkey. It's like fly paper - stay away or you might get stuck.

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