Anna Nelson

The Interior AIDS Association is a small non-profit agency providing HIV case management, prevention, and drug treatment services in Fairbanks. I have nine employees eligible for health insurance and it costs the agency about $80,000 for this employee-only “benefit.” We can manage this, however, the cost for additional family members is so high that employees say they cannot afford to add children or spouses. The cost for my son, who I have added because we are not eligible for Medicaid, is $710 per month. The premium alone is 11% of my gross pay; the $3,000 deductible/ $6,000 family means to us, that this is a catastrophic policy. I can’t afford to cover my husband, so he simply cannot get sick. One of my employees has a child without insurance. She has applied for Medicaid, but they are backed up (more than a year) which leaves her son without coverage. This country treats medical care like it’s optional. Services are so expensive that no one except the rich can pay out of pocket without insurance.  Unless you are among the lucky people who have insurance through an employer, or are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, (providing they have time to process your application) or ACA subsidies, (if they still exist) you are left without coverage. The ER does NOT provide primary care. We are the only developed country where people go bankrupt because they cannot pay medical bills.

Anna Nelson
Interior AIDS Association