Over the past few months, we’ve been bringing you occasional stories of people the SEA has helped get health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As the March 31 deadline to sign up for coverage approaches, people continue to reach out for help.
Some who we’ve told you about were denied coverage and others paid astronomical amounts for their health care. Others, such as today’s subject, were priced out of the insurance market entirely.
Joyce Verdone works three librarian jobs that, taken together, add up to around 40 hours a week. It’s been this way for her since she lost her full-time job – and her insurance – a dozen years ago.
“I worked at Notre Dame College, and I lost my job when it closed in 2002,” Verdone said. “I haven’t found a full-time job in 12 years.”
She works hard, dividing her time between library services jobs at the Department of Health and Human Services, NHTI and Concord Public Library.
“It’s like a marathon, but everything is up here in Concord — it’s like a mile radius,” Verdone said.
That marathon doesn’t provide her with health care coverage, though. Going back to when she lost her job, she said coverage was just too expensive.
“When I lost my job, I had the option of going on COBRA, but it was going to be $900 a month,” she said. “I couldn’t afford that – that’s a house payment.”
Verdone now has coverage through the Affordable Care Act for a lot less than a house payment. She’ll pay just under $300 a month for a mid-level silver plan, which she said will be tough to cover, but she is also just a few years away from qualifying for Medicare.
The cost of coverage isn’t always dirt cheap, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Granite Staters no longer need to choose between buying health insurance and making a house payment.