Monique’s story: Uninsured because of Obamacare’s costs

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Monique reports that she and her husband are self-employed. Before Obamacare, the couple bought catastrophic coverage, and, for their routine visits, she said they paid for their reasonably-priced doctors’ visits in cash.

With the onset of Obamacare’s individual mandate, she and her husband bought the required comprehensive insurance. The premium was just over $400 per month in the first year.

The next year, the premium nearly doubled to almost $800.  And by the time the couple moved their business to Idaho last year, they “found it too costly to keep up paying for the health care [they] weren’t using,” so they did not renew their policy.

Unfortunately, after their policy expired, Monique tore a ligament in her knee.

“I tried paying cash for doctor visits, but they were as high as if I had insurance with no cash discount. They told me to go back on insurance so I could get better [treatment,] but you can’t unless it’s open enrollment time!”

Monique subsequently re-enrolled during regular open enrollment, and once again faces a $792 premium, but now with a $12,000 deductible.

“If I would have had catastrophic insurance”—like they did before Obamacare—”it would have been no big deal.”

Instead, Monique faces thousands of dollars in premiums, a $12,000 deductible, and medical bills from something that could have been covered by a simpler plan.

Our plan would help Monique in several ways:

Our plan would allow states to provide a wider variety of options for Monique and her husband. And with more options and more genuine competition among insurance plans, they would be able to find a policy that better meets their needs.

Premiums would be more affordable as well because people with consistently high health costs could receive help from the state so those costs don’t drive up premiums for everyone else—too often driving healthy people out of the market.

And with more affordable policies, Monique could keep her insurance so she doesn’t have to face another health emergency without coverage.

Finally, Monique could purchase a catastrophic health insurance plan, like she and her husband had before Obamacare, and put money aside tax free into a Health Savings Account to pay for routine care.

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