SERIES: Healthcare in America #17, Susanna Beh, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

by Susanna Behr,  September 30, 2018

Health Insurance: My Catch 22.

For many people, health insurance is the catch-22 made popular in Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel. If you are healthy and have insurance with a high deductible (even apart from co-pays), you wind up paying a lot for no benefit. If, however, you develop a serious illness, you pay far more — both the premiums and the full deductible before getting any benefit — and, even then, you will still pay many costs.

Here’s the catch: if you get better, you might lose your job. Your illness will raise the group rate of your employer (in order for the insurer can recoup the “medical loss”) — so your illness will make you very expensive for your employer. Then you might have trouble finding another job. Although it’s illegal to discriminate based on medical conditions, it’s usually hard to prove that that’s why you’re getting rejected from jobs you can do.

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