LaDonna & Tom, St. Louis County

When Tom, a self-employed attorney, and his wife LaDonna got pregnant, their insurance company raised their rates by $1,000 a month. The company defined pregnancy as a pre-existing condition. The price increase made the insurance unaffordable and the couple canceled their coverage. As a result, Tom and LaDonna went without insurance for four years, luckily without serious medical issues. When the Marketplace opened, they signed up for a Silver plan. Tom explains, “to say that the Marketplace was a lifesaver for us would be an understatement.”

Tom had been insured for only a few months when he had to have surgery after an accident that detached the tendon in his right hand completely from the bone. The surgery required extensive physical therapy after to help Tom regain full function of his hand. In August, LaDonna was diagnosed with Stage IIIA breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Thanks to their Marketplace plan, they were both able to get the care they needed and escape financial disaster. Donna reflects, “I would like to talk to anyone that thinks this is not a good thing. I feel like I am a walking billboard for why having health insurance is so important.”