Raising Women’s Voices

Private Insurance is Unaffordable to Many with Pre-existing Conditions

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on September 30, 2008

The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report today links to a Philadelphia Inquirer article, the second installment in a series called “Falling Through: Casualties of the Health Insurance Crisis,” profiling the obstacles that people with chronic illnesses face in obtaining affordable health insurance.

Private insurance becomes unaffordable to many with chronic conditions because insurance companies are permitted to “cherry-pick” customers based on pre-existing conditions.  The man profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer article was diagnosed with a chronic illness shortly after letting his health coverage lapse.

“When he felt better, he looked to buy insurance, but couldn’t find anything affordable.

The cheapest he was able to find, he said, cost him $1,000 a month only for himself, and that covered only 50 percent of his medications.

‘The cost of insurance is astronomical,’ he says, ‘and so is the cost of getting sick. I play a game: How long can I stay well?’

‘One anti-inflamatory, Pentasa, is $392 a month,’ he says. ‘The amount they want me to take – I take half of that.'”

Read the full article here.

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