Tuesday, December 11, 2007

At What Cost?

Massachusetts, my beloved home state, now requires residents to have health insurance. The penalty for going without is a nasty tax assessment. My health insurance expired on November 30, and I've been looking into the situation.

COBRA, the health insurance extension program, wants to charge me $450 per month to continue my coverage. That's over twice my student loan payment. That's over half of my rent. That's ridiculous, in my current state of unemployment.

I signed up today for a Direct Pay Plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and it's a much cheaper rate. It kicks in on Friday, which is nice. I have to say, it's been a little strange being without the invisible safety net of health insurance, even for a few weeks. It kept popping into my head that it would be so much more dangerous to fall on the ice and break an ankle, or be hit by a car, or have another sinus infection. I've never been without health insurance before; all my life, if I was sick, I just went to the doctor.

John Edwards has proposed a plan for the nation similar to the policy now in effect here in Massachusetts. I would like to see that implemented. I don't think people should have to rely on their employers to provide health insurance. Because of the new plan here, there are now Direct Pay Plans, like the one I just enrolled in. These plans are more affordable, and give you plenty of options, depending on what specific coverage you want. It would be nice to see everyone having a chance at affordable health insurance.

1 responses:

Emily said...

Hi Kate,

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and really enjoy it. I was wondering if you were familiar with an organization called Freelancers Union? They are mainly based in NY, but they are all about the same thing you just said - access to health insurance outside of the employer-provided system.


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