The experience of Danice McGrath's family with the Affordable Care Act has mirrored some of the frustrations voiced nationwide as President Barack Obama's health coverage program takes effect.
McGrath, 45, of Glen Ellyn, says she got a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois about three weeks ago saying the insurance policy that covers her and her three sons would be discontinued at the end of the year because she didn't have the policy before the new health care law was approved.
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"Quite frankly, it's very scary," said McGrath, whose husband is covered separately. "We're responsible for three little people plus ourselves."
McGrath and her husband, Mike, are Obama supporters, and she says she hopes the new law will have the president's desired effects. But in the short term, she's worried about how her family will fare.
"I am frustrated, but I still have hope," she said.
Obama moved Thursday to let companies extend insurance plans after millions of Americans have found themselves in the same position as McGrath. The policies were canceled in some cases because they did not include all the required components of the Affordable Care Act.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois spokeswoman Mary Ann Schultz said the company has been working with customers and is examining its next steps based on Thursday's news. She couldn't comment directly on McGrath's case.
"Our primary goal is maintaining access to quality, affordable health care for our members and we will continue to support solutions that assure there are no disruptions in health insurance for our existing members," Schultz said. "Soon, we will be reaching out to consumers who will have new options as a result of this announcement."
That might be good news for McGrath, but meanwhile she'll have to continue to examine alternatives. She said a comparable insurance policy she's looked at through the same company would cost more and have a higher deductible.
After getting the letter, McGrath tried to use the Affordable Care Act's website to find insurance alternatives, but like many people, she was held up by glitches. She was able to enter information about her family but couldn't get far enough to see details about insurance plans. McGrath said she'll spend the coming weeks trying to find an insurance alternative either through Blue Cross or the government website.
"I feel like it's out of our control, but I'm the one who will suffer the consequences," she said.