Letter to Editor: Debra of Springhill, TN

Debra of Springhill, TN writes:

My name is Debra Smith. I live in Springhill. I was a microbiologist for over 20 years.  Before the ACA, I could only get insurance through my employer because I had a pre-existing condition. By 2013, I had almost met my million-dollar cap. That year, I left my job with the State and took a position with a hospital in East Tennessee. Three weeks in, I discovered my hip was infected. I was dismissed because my condition made it impossible to work. After the dismissal, I had COBRA insurance with a monthly premium of $750. Initially, I made this work by living off credit cards and disability payments. Soon the price rose and I could not afford my insurance. Luckily, the ACA was implemented. I signed up the first year and my premium was $200 less than the COOBRA premium. In 2015, I had back surgery. My insurance covered almost everything. If I did not have insurance, I would have had to file for bankruptcy. Now, I have Medicare; however, I do worry about the people who are going through what I went through in 2015. Many of these people will die if they don’t get the care they need.


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