One less option - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Private Option, Government health care

One less option

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HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE (KATV) -You've heard about the 170,000 or so Arkansans who now have government sponsored healthcare.

But this weekend nearly 5,000 of those people will be kicked off their plans.

One of them is Cheryl Cohen.

Cohen says she feels like a rug has been pulled out from under her. And if she gets hurt in the fall, she won't have medical insurance to pay for it.

Cohen and her husband own Village Nutrition just outside Hot Springs Village.

Cheryl works at the store but her husband had to get a job somewhere else so that they could have health insurance.

"You have to have it," says Cohen. "I mean if you don't have it and something happens...you're either dead or you might as well be because the debt is going to be so high that you won't be able to pay it."

But with a $6,000.00 deductible, Cheryl applied for and was accepted into a "private option" healthcare plan.

Her coverage started on April 1st, so her husband dropped her from his insurance.

Then last week Cheryl was one of 4,798 Arkansans who received a letter from the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

It states that "...you should not be enrolled..." in government-run healthcare and that "...coverage will end on May 31st."

The letter adds "We regret that you are now in this position."

"You don't tell people 'Oh, you're fine. You have insurance. No problem," argues Cohen. "And then they think 'Oh...I'm fine...finally I'm O.K.' And then a month or two later they tell you 'Oh, well, we goofed. Sorry. You're out of luck. And you have to find other insurance in ten days.' It's not something that you do to people."

The letter states that either an applicant's income level or a pending verification is the reason they are being kicked off.

DHS says this was a mistake made at the federal level.

Cheryl says her attempts to get help at the federal level have been unsuccessful.

Air date: May 29, 2014