Some Arizonans winning with Affordable Care Act health plans - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Some Arizonans winning with Affordable Care Act health plans

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Affordable Care Act has gotten off to a rocky start, in particular, bugs in the www.healthcare.gov website. But the new healthcare system is working for some people here in Arizona. Richard Walsh says the law achieved for him exactly what the President promised - better coverage and lower rates.

"It definitely worked out for me," Walsh said.

Walsh is Phoenix homeowner and is self-employed in the beauty industry. He says he's been paying for his own health insurance since 1992 and it hasn't come cheap. He says his last policy cost him $400 per month and came with a $10,000 deductible.

"I had this really expensive plan that wasn't really doing me any good," Walsh said.

Like a lot of people, Walsh experienced delays and bugs when he visited www.healthcare.gov in October looking for a better deal under the Affordable Care Act. So he decided to try the government's toll-free hotline instead. He says he got right through and the phone rep finished his application and signed him up for a great plan with HealthNet.

"I got my card, my acceptance, what my premium will be, I actually made my first premium payment because that initiates it for Jan. 1," Walsh said.

Walsh's lower income made him eligible for a subsidy and that made a huge difference. He says he is getting significantly better benefits under his new platinum plan, but paying only half as much in premiums.

"Right now, I'm going to save about $1800 a year with my plan that I'm getting over the plan I had," Walsh said.

A huge unanticipated savings that Walsh thinks other self-employed people can also achieve, if they hang in there with www.healthcare.gov.

"If you buy individual insurance, don't give up, just keep trying, because it's going to be worth it, definitely worth it," Walsh said.

Walsh could have kept his old policy, but the subsidy made it a better deal for him to go through the Affordable Care Act marketplace and get new insurance.

What if you're self-employed, your old policy is being canceled, and you don't qualify for a subsidy? Finding a good deal like Walsh may be a lot more difficult. That is part two of our story on how the Affordable Care Act is impacting consumers in the Phoenix area. You can read that story tomorrow.

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