An update to a story we've been following during our Affordable Care Act coverage.
After weeks of trying and a lot of frustration local hairstylist Becky Dame has now signed up for health insurance.
Dame tells WDBJ7 she had a choice of plans ranging from $76 per month all the way up to over $2,000 per month.
She is going with one that will cost her $128 per month.
Dame has said all along she just wants something she can afford.
“To have insurance that I could afford to where it won't break my monthly...where I'll still be able to pay the house payment and have insurance,” Dame said
Becky Dame is diabetic and knows she needs insurance but has gone without it. Now she and her teenage child will be covered.
After paying the mortgage, putting food on the table and gas in the car, many Americans find there's not enough money for health insurance. Becky Dame is one of them.
Dame's been working at the Richfield Retirement Home in Salem for several years.
"I absolutely love working here," Dame said. "The residents are wonderful. They truly are."
Dame washes, cuts, blow drys and styles, four days a week, at Richfield Retirement home. "The residents are just super to work with," Dame said.
Dame's been running the salon for 12 years. She's an independent contractor and also runs a hair replacement business in Shawsville.
Between the two Dame works six days a week. Sundays are her only day off.
She, like many Americans, doesn't have health insurance. As I diabetic she knows she needs it.. "Just everything else you know. Your house payment, the kids, everything they want to do," Dame said. "There wasn't enough money to afford it for the whole family."
Dame finds herself in the same situation many people can relate to. My income is too much to get any assistance but not enough to afford health insurance, Dame explained.
But will she be able to afford insurance under a policy in the insurance marketplace and will she qualify for any help there? The answer: she doesn't know.
"I found the language to be so confusing. I didn't understand what I was eligible for, "Dame said.
Dame admits living without health insurance is frightening. "If you can't pay your medical bill you can lose everything and that's very scary," Dame said.
While she doesn't like the idea of being told she must buy insurance she's hopeful.
"I hope it's going to be a plan where I'll be able to afford it," Dame said. "Where I'll still be able to pay my bills and yet have health insurance and keep working as I normally do. that's what I'm hoping for."
As of news time on Monday, Dame still doesn't know how much her health insurance would cost under the ACA exchanges. She told WDBJ7 that website problems have prevented her accountant from being able to find that information. We will keep you posted on how Dame fares as she navigates the system and how much the premiums will be for her and whether she finds it's something she can afford..