Heidi Massey – Chicago, IL
In 2009, I lost my job at a nonprofit when the economy tanked. They let virtually everyone go. For a few months, I was able to get insurance through COBRA, which was actually subsidized by the government. But once that subsidy expired, my unemployment benefits were not enough to take care of my three kids and pay for health insurance. I didn’t even consider purchasing an individual insurance plan because I knew I couldn’t afford it.
This past January 2013, I took the plunge and began working for myself. Almost immediately, I had a full load of clients. So I began to look into obtaining insurance. Like most 50+ year olds, I have previous conditions that make it virtually impossible to get affordable health insurance. So I have a junk insurance plan that doesn’t provide great coverage and doesn’t even cover prescriptions. However, once the health care marketplace opens this fall, it will be easier to shop for a plan that meets my medical needs and my budget.
My current insurance does not cover preventative care. Once the ACA goes into full effect and I have access to preventative care, I will be healthier and able to work uninterrupted by disease. In these tough economic times, having easy access to quality, affordable care will help freelancers like me thrive.