I have always carried health insurance, I am self-employed and I have a family. I have twice, in 20 years, filed a claim. I have paid premiums that have increased anywhere from 10 percent to 35 percent every two to three years.
Whenever my health insurance premium became more expensive than my mortgage, I would re-shop it. I have been denied a request to change plans because I was once prescribed 8 sleeping pills. I am an insurance company’s dream.
About 3 months ago I enrolled in Covered California. I have the exact same plan, network and doctors. I am saving over $500 a month. I no longer have to pay out of pocket for my preventative care. Previously, on top of my monthly premium, I would pay for my children’s vaccinations ($250 just this past fall), my mammograms ($500 annually, which I skipped last year because I could not afford) and other fees associated with maintaining my family’s health. There has been no other change. It has been a blessing for us.
For the record, I also carry auto insurance, which if I drop, I am charged a fee and am not allowed to drive; home owners insurance, without which I am not allowed to buy a house; and business liability insurance, without which I would have been unable to sign a lease and open my business.
In a democracy, we have responsibilities as well as rights. I have a responsibility to my fellow community members to take care of myself and my property so that they are not stuck paying for my negligence.
This is a simple letter that addresses a complex issue. The health care industry, the insurance industry and our own personal health are all far more intricate subjects than I can address here.
There is certainly room for improvement. However, allowing millions of Americans access to basic health care that was previously denied them is a step toward compassion that I am proud my country has taken.