Amy Jordan is a 40-year-old mother who lives with her husband in Durham, N.C. When Amy became a stay-at-home mom in May 2012, she tried to purchase insurance through the same company that insured her at her former job. The company denied her, claiming she had a pre-existing condition despite the fact the same company had considered her healthy and not high risk when she was working.
Amy's husband's company provided him with coverage, but to add both her and their son would have cost them $995 a month--an amount they simply could not afford. They decided to add only their young son until they were able to insure Amy as well. "At that point, we just had to get by with prayers," she said.
The next year and a half were tough on Amy. Several times she developed bronchitis--each time avoiding a doctor until it became so severe she had to pay more than $250 to get it treated at a local clinic. "If I'd had insurance, I would have seen a doctor much sooner, and the early treatment could have spared me and my family a lot of suffering," she said.
On another occasion, the lymph nodes in her neck swelled so badly Amy thought she had lymphoma. She worried constantly about the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of dollars that cancer treatment could leave her family in debt. It turned out not to be cancer, but the experience left Amy shaken.
This past December, Amy applied for insurance through the federal health insurance marketplace created by the new healthcare law. She found a plan that will cover both her and her son for $450 a month--a gold level plan with no co-pays and no deductible for in-network providers. "It's less than half the price and is a much better plan than the one that would have cost us nearly $1,000 a month," she said.
Amy is now looking forward to Feb. 1 when her coverage will begin; the relief it will provide her will be dramatic. "I have a torn muscle in my arm that has been causing me significant pain for quite a while so I'm going to get that checked out right away," she said.
Amy and her husband also look forward to having another child--something that would have been impossible without insurance.
Notably, Amy looks forward to the peace of mind her insurance will provide. "Because I'll have insurance I'm not going to live every day of my life in fear," she said.