Donna, St. Louis County

Donna is a 58-year-old mother and part-time professional from St. Louis County. For many years, Donna and her son enjoyed great health care coverage through her husband’s railroading work. However, when her husband became eligible for Medicare, Donna had to find new coverage for both herself and her son. She was able to find a private plan. But, over the course of a few years, her premium has increased drastically. She has also been told by her insurer that their plan may be discontinued at any point. Her family’s income is right on the line for federal subsidy eligibility. She would have received only $1 of discounts had she switched to a more expensive Marketplace plan.

During Thanksgiving break, Donna’s son came home from college sick. He spent a lot of time at the hospital as specialists ran tests trying to diagnose him. When it was all said and done, the cost for his medical tests and time in the hospital was about $10,000. Their deductible is exactly $10,000 per person. Donna and her husband do not qualify for any help with these bills because they are insured. Now, they find themselves with thousands of dollars hospital bill debt from one sickness, despite being insured.