hart

Uninsured for 11 years 1 week
Age
Occupation
Employment Status
Reason Lost Insurance
Family Income
Family Size
Uninsured Family Members
General Health
Being Uninsured Makes Me Feel

Up until 2009 I was able to manage the monthly health insurance payments that I pay for fully, being self-employed. With the economy tanking work just dried up and I had to make hard choices.

The medical industry in this country is clearly broken. Affordable options are needed for a large and growing segment of the population who work for themselves or as freelancers -- a move that some, like myself, have made for reasons of flexibility, and others have been been forced to make.

How does this lack of insurance affect me on a day-to-day basis? As Mark mentioned, there's a level of underlying tension around my health, and for me it leads to some unhealthy choices. Before I get on a bicycle I wonder what I would do if I get into an accident. Accidents do happen, but the act of cycling somewhere improves my health. So, perhaps ironically, I do make some choices that are less healthy in the long run due to insurance fears in the short term.

Why is this such a large fear? Incredibly high medical costs. A simple visit to the emergency room could wipe out my minimal savings. Anything more serious could bankrupt me. Or worse -- a hospital to deny me service based on my lack of insurance.