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Uninsured Massachusetts Consumer Who Cannot Afford Mandatory Purchase of Health Insurance Flies 3,000 Miles to Speak Out; Is Thrown Out Of Capitol By Speaker Nunez
Date:1/16/2008

>"I'm 47 and have no health problems but the cheapest individual plan available in Massachusetts is $234 a month. That's 6.8% of my salary. That "cheap" plan has a $2,000 per person pushing the cost up to 12.7% of my gross salary. Even if I bought the policy I still wouldn't have affordable health care, and the number of doctors is very limited.

"I have a daughter, and it gets much worse if I want to insure her. The cheapest plan for the two of us is $440 a month, $5280 a year. That's 11.6% of my income alone. The cheapest medium-range plan - without the huge deductibles - is $632 a month, nearly 20% of my own salary.

"I think that many people who struggle to buy a policy this year will find themselves priced out of the market in a year or two as premiums spiral upward. That's already started to happen in Massachusetts, with insurance companies talking about double-digit premium increases.

"Think about it: families use their savings to pay for the policy and can't afford it the next year or the year after, ending up both uninsured and with no savings. That's one reason I refuse to use up my own small savings on mandatory insurance.

"I'll probably have to quit teaching after this year, even though I love it, and look for a clinical radiology technician job with benefits.

"After a few years of making $21,000 I'm trying to dig out of a hole. A lot of my students will be in a similar bind, buried in student debt even if they're making decent pay.

"We drive old cars and live a frugal life, but I need to pay for things like auto repairs, household appliances that need to be replaced and my daughter's orthodontia.

"Our only family extra is my daughter's dancing lessons, to which she's devoted. That would be the first but not the last thing to go. It would just crush her.

"All this so insurance companies can make more money.

"If I lived in California I wouldn't be any better off.

"All
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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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