Who Deserves Healthcare?

Report From an Unemployed Worker

I have been getting my health insurance through Covered California, which is a marketplace for buying state subsidized health insurance. Before the crisis, I had a low monthly premium and decent health coverage, since the state subsidized a majority of the cost due to my low income. I could go to appointments for a $15 copay, get prescriptions for $5, and I had an out-of-pocket maximum of $2700.

About a month into the coronavirus crisis, I got a message from Covered California telling me to update my income. The facility I worked at closed down, so my income had been greatly reduced. I reported the changes, hoping this would mean that my monthly premiums would decrease even more.

Instead, I got a notice that my premium had increased by over $300. Visits would now cost $40, prescriptions $16, and my out-of-pocket maximum jumped up to $7800.

How is it that being poorer means I pay more for health coverage instead of less?

Featured image credit: free pictures of money / Creative Commons