What does health insurance cost? What is normal? These nine people talk about what they pay, what they get for their money -- and what reform means to them.
What I would be willing to pay: $150 per month
I was laid off in 2001 and decided to become a freelancer. In the past I have had health insurance through the Freelancers Union, but I've been without coverage for two years now because the union only accepts cash payments -- no credit cards -- and the coverage is awful and expensive.
I go to the doctor a couple times a year, and I just pay out of pocket. I go to Planned Parenthood for everything I would need to see a gynecologist for, which is what I did even when I had health insurance because it wasn't covered on the Freelancers Union plan.
What I want fixed: I would love to see a public option to make health insurance more affordable. There's so much talk about uninsured people going to the emergency room and driving costs higher for everyone else. But nobody is offering a plan that is reasonable for people in middle to lower income brackets.
I'd like to get decent coverage for between $150 and $175. In 2003, I was working on a job in Los Angeles and had a basic individual health insurance for $150 a month. That was workable. In New York, every time I look for individual health insurance it's between $450 and $500, and I can't pay that.
NEXT: Chuck Lewis: Self employed