- $1,115 – that’s the average premium for employer-sponsored family coverage per month in 2009. Annually, that amounts to $13,375 – or roughly the yearly income of someone working a minimum wage job. (Source)
- And if nothing is done to reform our broken health care system, a recent survey found that over the next ten years, out-of-pocket expenses for Americans with health insurance could increase 35 percent in every state in the country. (Source)
This week -- in an effort to put the past year’s debate over health insurance reform into perspective -- we’re launching, “Health Reform by the Numbers,” an online campaign using key figures, like $1,115, to raise awareness about why we just can’t wait for reform. We’ll announce a new number each day and promote them here on Whitehouse.gov and on social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.
Yesterday, Leslie Banks, one of the many Americans burdened by skyrocketing health insurance costs, introduced President Obama at a reform event in Philadelphia. Here’s her story:
On February 11th Leslie wrote the President an e-mail expressing her frustration with the cost of health insurance. Leslie is a self-employed, single mother with type 2 diabetes, whose daughter is a sophomore in college at Temple University. In January 2010, Leslie received a notice from her health insurance provider that her plan was being dropped. To keep the same benefits, the premiums for her and her daughter would more than double. Leslie was told by the insurance company that there was an across the board premium hike and there was nothing she could do. If she paid the same monthly premium amount as before, the deductible would increase from $500 to $5,000, and they would no longer have preventive care or prescription coverage. Leslie is not eligible for the insurance company’s HMO due to her pre-existing condition. Under health reform, Leslie and her daughter will have to access affordable health insurance in the new health insurance exchange, including guaranteed benefits such as preventive care and prescription drugs as well as important consumer protections. In addition, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and they will be held accountable to prevent insurance industry abuses.
For those like Leslie who are buckling under the weight of crippling health insurance costs – they can’t wait any longer for reform. As the President said yesterday, "We can’t have a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people. We need to give families and businesses more control over their own health insurance. And that’s why we need to pass health care reform -- not next year, not five years from now, not 10 years from now, but now."
With all of us working together, we’ll send the message loud and clear -- the time is now for health insurance reform. Check out what we’re doing to raise awareness on Facebook, Twitter, and help spread the word by sharing this post.