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Jerri Theil: Self-employed
Jerri Theil: Self-employed
Jerri Theil, 41, lives in Denver, Colo.
What I pay: Uninsured
What I would be willing to pay: $50 per month

I own my own public relations company and was paying for health insurance myself. But it was costing me more than my car payment, so I got rid of it. I've been uninsured for a year and a half.

I know if something catastrophic happened, I'd lose everything. But right now it's about affordability. It was either driving my kids to school or paying for health insurance. And I only go to the doctor a couple of times a year, so it makes more sense than paying a couple hundred bucks a month for insurance.

My ex-husband has health insurance through his employer and the kids are covered through that; he and I split the $230 premium to cover them.

What I want fixed: I'd be willing to pay something low like $50 a month for health insurance, with a higher co-pay for a doctor's visit--say $50 instead of $20 or $30. People would only go to the doctor if they really needed to, and the costs would be easier to handle.

The biggest challenge is that you shell out so much money each month but you don't even use it. One year I did pay for a full year of health insurance, but I only went to the doctor once. That bill was $180, so it would have been more affordable to just pay out of pocket.

I think one reform that would be beneficial is having the government subsidize health care for small-business owners. Large companies can afford to sponsor health insurance for their employees, but small businesses can't under the current system. Employees either have to pay for their own care or go without it.

In countries where everyone is insured through the government, they seem healthy and happy, so I'd like to see the government implement something close to that. Even if we have to pay higher taxes, it will be better in the long run for everybody.

NEXT: Nancy Talley: Employer plan

Last updated October 15 2009: 6:29 PM ET
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