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Nina of Knoxville, TN

Nina of Knoxville, TN writes:

I moved here in 1988 from Los Angeles, and have lived in West Knoxville since that time. Earlier in my career I worked at an ad agency and in television sales, but for the past 20 years have owned a media-buying company and work out of my home. I am also a breast cancer survivor who has created BreastConnect.org, a non-profit website helping those diagnosed with breast cancer by directing them to local resources. As part of our program, we match women in our Sisterhood Program so that every newly diagnosed woman can have a mentor sister who has gone through a similar diagnosis, treatment and set of surgeries. Our facebook group currently has 282 members.

I am involved in the community and have been on various boards and committees over the past years including the American Marketing Association, Knoxville Ad Federation, Friends of Literacy and Temple Beth El.

For 15 years I have had individual family coverage through Farm Bureau. Fortunately, I had insurance when diagnosed. Coverage for myself and 2 daughters currently reached $1K/month. Therefore I’ve switched to my husband’s plan. Luckily, having a pre-existing condition was not an issue. What frightens me is the future. Many women in our breast cancer group are young, single with small children. Cancer is financially devastating. Some are physically not able to work during chemo and many of them are on ACA plans. Losing them is devastating. Even with insurance, many cannot afford the premiums, high deductibles & OOP totals. Imagine if they didn’t have insurance at all? Additionally, Knoxville is becoming a city of entrepreneurs. The KEC and city are working hard to create new businesses in our town, resulting in more tax revenue, employees, growth. Then what do they do about insurance?

I cannot imagine living in world where my breast cancer would hamper my chance of receiving insurance. 1 out of 8 women will have that disease, do we deny insurance for all of them? BreastConnect.org guides women through their cancer journey, arms them with tips on surgeries & chemo, matches them with a mentor. We send flowers, provide dinner & give hugs. But we cannot provide insurability. Please don’t take away their ability to be insured. And please help small businesses to flourish.

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