Karen Asher: “I no longer worry about suffering without treatment”

Karen Asher and her husband

Karen Asher and her husband

“Like millions of Americans, I lost a job with benefits early in the recession. I was in my mid-fifties and unable to find a full-time position. I made money doing various part-time jobs, but none of them offered health insurance. My family had health insurance through my husband’s employer, until my husband was rendered 100% medically disabled in late 2008.

My husband is very sick, in fact, he is awaiting a heart transplant through Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. My husband is now covered under Medicare, even though he is only 56 years old, due to his medical disability.

Ted’s medical condition combined with my inability to find better employment has been financially devastating for our family. With the mortgage and all of the other bills to pay, there was no way for me to buy COBRA coverage for myself or to purchase an individual plan.

We purchased so-called ‘catastrophic’ individual policies to cover our sons, but I have been uncovered by health insurance. I received treatment for severe bronchitis in 2011 from Four Corners Primary Care in Norcross, Georgia. FCPC in Norcross treats people on a sliding pay scale, and the fees are based on family income. If not for the care in 2011 from FCPC, I don’t know what I would have done!

I am currently underemployed. The small amount of money that I make, combined with my husband’s disability benefits, render us unable to afford the full cost of a health insurance policy for me and my son. We are over the income limit to be eligible for Medicaid here in Georgia.

I have been uncovered by health insurance from 2008 until now. Now, through the ACA I’ve purchased an affordable plan that covers both me and my son.

This means that I no longer worry about suffering without treatment if an illness or an accident befalls me. There is a chance that any serious health issues will be identified and treated before they become acute, or kill me.  I’ve even destroyed the card that said “DNR” that I used to carry in my wallet. It is replaced with my new insurance card.”

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