I read this article entitled, The Health-Care Crisis Hits Home, and I really feel for the writer and her brother, Patrick (who is also a temp). While my situation is not as extreme, I understand their desperation and frustration because I’ve personally experienced the nightmare of individual health insurance. For the past two years, I’ve been without employer-provided health insurance coverage and I’ve had to pay for my own. Thanks to “pre-existing conditions” (nothing serious), it was difficult to get “approved” for individual insurance, and when I was finally granted coverage, I was charged an extra $63.00 per month due to my outdoor allergies and the fact that I had seen a chiropractor for routine wellness adjustments (apparently I’m a threat?).

On top of that, Anthem decided to raise prices across the board, so last month my premium went up $84.00, bringing my monthly premium to a whopping $247.00. And that’s BEFORE adding in the final cost of medical care, like copays, doctor visits, lab tests, and prescription drugs. With all those costs, there’s no wonder why I can’t afford a car payment or build an emergency fund.

Are there cheaper insurance plans out there? Sure, but they have unreasonably high deductibles. I did some serious shopping before I bought my plan, which includes zero deductible for doctor visits ($40 copays), great “in network providers,” and Anthem negotiated discounted fees. The only catch? Hospital and surgery fees  – $500 per admittance, $500 per surgery, $500 per day, PLUS a percentage of all services and costs. I just pray that nothing serious ever happens, because I couldn’t afford the cost of hospitalization or surgery, even WITH insurance (thus putting me in the “underinsured” category). I’m also weary of ever switching companies/plans because the insurer can always come back and argue that your problem/condition was “pre-existing” and therefore deny coverage just when you need it most.

I have blogged about my feelings regarding the injustice of the health system before. If you’ve read my older blogs you know that this is nothing new. I just wanted to share the link to this article along with my personal story to stress this point: unless the health-care crisis has “hit home” with you, I dare say you have NO understanding of the problem. Unless you’ve personally been denied claims or coverage, or experienced the nightmares of individual health insurance plans, you are probably in the the dark about the sad, scary state of health insurance in the U.S.

Do I have answers? No. But I have a story, just like many other uninsured or underinsured across the country. Sharing these stories is a starting point.