Local man's struggle launches health awareness initiative

Posted at: 08/03/2013 6:44 PM | Updated at: 08/03/2013 10:32 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com

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Open enrollment for the Affordable Health Care Act is less than two months away. If you are uninsured and are considering your options, a local man is hoping his story can help.

Wayne Kittelberger was diagnosed with cancer four weeks ago. The problem is, he didn't have health insurance at the time and now it's proven to be a very expensive decision.

Now, he is on a mission to raise awareness for the disease and to teach the importance of health insurance.

When Kittelberger was diagnosed with Acute and Chronic Leukemia. He didn't go to the doctor because he didn't have health insurance.

Now he's hoping others can learn from that decision.

Not only does he have to worry about his health, but now he has to worry about how he can support himself and his three children.

In an effort to help him with medical costs, several businesses and members of the community got together for a basketball tournament. The theme was H.O.P.E., which stands for "Having Only Positive Expectations."

The event increased awareness about health issues, promoted healthy activities and provided information on health challenges the community may face. It also informed people about some of the resources that may be available to them.

The goal was to make sure people pay attention to their symptoms and get help no matter what.

Kittelberger is currently going through chemo, but he is also facing the challenge of taking care of his health while providing for his family.

So this support couldn't have come at a better time.
“I'm glad a lot of people came out to support me and to just get information from the community and to let them know what's going on out there and increase awareness about my situation and other things, like how they can go about getting help for themselves. I'm just glad that other people came out to support me,” said  Kittelberger.

If someone can afford healthcare but doesn't have coverage for 2014, they may have to pay a fee. They must also pay for all of their medical costs.

The fee will be one-percent of the person's income or $95 per person, per year, whichever is higher. The fee does increase every year.. For instance, in 2016 it will be 2.5-percent of a person's income or $695 per person, whichever is higher.

It's a lot to consider, especially since October is less than two months away.

For more information on health coverage, click here.

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