When I was young my mother told me that I must never let my insurance coverage lapse. She explained that my pre-existing condition (asthma) would mean that no one would cover me.
When I was 18 my father lost his job of 18 years. My parents paid for my insurance out of pocket until I turned 20 when it inexplicably leapt from $90 a month to $240.
I was unemployed. My father was unemployed. There went my health insurance and thus began my decent into crippling medical debt.
Fast forward a few years. Most of my friends get to get back into their parents insurance. My parents don’t HAVE insurance. The insurance companies can’t deny you because of your pre-existing conditions…but they can still make it impossibly expensive.
I worked my way through college at multiple seasonal jobs. Which don’t offer insurance.
Fast forward again. I get my first non seasonal full time job. Which doesn’t offer health insurance because they are a “small business”. My degree is in theatre. The odds of me ever working for a big business are slim.
Fast forward 2 more years. I get pregnant and apply for Medicaid. I’m denied because our house hold income is too high. The pregnancy is really hard with my now multiple pre-existing conditions and I can only work 20 hours a week. My husband only works about 30. We are below the poverty line and somehow still supposed to be able to afford health insurance.
So I get on the healthcare.gov website and fill out all their forms. At the end they tell me that I might qualify for Medicaid so they’re forwarding my information to the people that rejected me earlier this week.
So that’s why I don’t have health insurance and am $9000 in medical debt which I’m sure will double or triple by the end of this pregnacy.
I take solace in the fact that they can’t repossess my baby and that I don’t own anything worth anything.