Bill would help on insurance in pandemic
As we all try to adapt to the challenges the pandemic gives us, I want to compliment Congresswoman Lauren Underwood on one of her most timely legislative efforts: advocating for the addition of the Health Care Affordability Act in the next emergency coronavirus relief package. H.R. 1868 would ensure that no one who buys insurance on their own has to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance premiums. This cap would reduce premiums by hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than 17,000 people in the 14th congressional district and make lower-cost options available to 22,000 uninsured people in the district.
In response to Congresswoman Underwood's effort, I am writing in recognition of the challenges many face in accessing health care. As a retired RN administrator, I have Medicare and can afford not only supplemental medical insurance ($216/month) but also prescription drug insurance ($25/month). Five of my medications are available in generics. However, because of an asthma diagnosis, I use a long-acting inhaler. The inhaler that works best is a tier 3 drug in Illinois, meaning that I paid $706 out-of-pocket for it in 2020 ---- on top of the $415 for my other drugs. Despite having Medicare and supplemental insurance coverage, my total out-of-pocket costs for supplemental insurance and medication totaled $4,244 in 2020.
I hope my neighbors will join me in supporting Congresswoman Underwood as she seeks to lower the cost of health care, making it more accessible for more people in our district and across the country.