The discussion on the Affordable Care Act always includes fair concern over the 80,000 Mainers at risk of losing coverage. There are, however, another 1.3 million Mainers equally impacted.

I am just one voice, but here is my reality. In 2014 I was charged $981 per month for coverage for a family of five. In 2015 I was charged $1,063 per month, a 8.3 percent increase. In 2016, I was charged $1,485 per month, an increase of 39.7 percent. This year, I am being charged $1,716 per month, an increase of 15.5 percent. From 2014 until 2017 I have experienced an increase in premiums of 74.9 percent, yet this is entitled “affordable” care.

My deductible also increased from $2,500 to $11,000. This means that my effective insurance premium is now $31,592 annually since I am unable to obtain 1 cent of coverage until I first pay $11,000 of deductible. But, remember, at the same time I am paying the annual premium of $20,592. Thank you, Anthem Blue Cross.

Further, there is no reward for a healthy lifestyle. My family exercises regularly, eats well, avoids tobacco, maintains our weight, and otherwise engages in behaviors that promote healthy living. But, “guaranteed issue” in real life means that people who do not engage in healthy behaviors are treated equally in regard to premium payments. Try that with car insurance.

My heart goes out to those in need. However, every person who receives a discount in health coverage is receiving that discount by way of the overcharge to people like me. I have two children enrolled at University of Maine in Orono. I now pay more for my annual health care than I do for annual tuition, housing, food, and fees at the university.

Steve Meidahl


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