January 11, 2020
Jody Weinreich, 66, lost her job at Tama Manufacturing in Allentown, Pennsylvania at age 61 when the factory closed and moved to Mexico. The factory had a government contract and made Alfred Dunner pants and Air Force training uniforms until the company closed its doors. She would not have had any health insurance but for the national exchange created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She was also too young for Social Security benefits at that time.
Prior to the closing of the factory, she had a Blue Cross plan paid by her employer. After exhausting Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits in 2011, she was on the exchange for 4 years (2012-2016) until she qualified for Medicare. She would not have been able to afford her thyroid and cholesterol medications during that time without the coverage and subsidies provided by the ACA. Under the exchange, she chose the “Silver” plan and paid a $500 monthly premium.
Also, 125 people lost their jobs when the factory closed. Jody also has several friends who have faced similar circumstances. One friend saw her $500 per month health insurance premiums lowered to $100 by the ACA. That friend is a widow who is not yet 65, so she has to work at Target two days a week to make ends meet, but thanks to the ACA has health insurance coverage.