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Over 50? Good Luck Getting Insurance

That’s the headline for the letter-to-the-editor I wrote, which appears in the Nov. 27, 2009, edition of The Kansas City Star.

Here’s the full text:

Over 50? Good luck getting insurance

For those 50 to 65, it’s difficult to get an individual health insurance policy at any price. Recently I discussed the problem with my cousin, a doctor who is director of research studying heart disease and diabetes for Kaiser Permanente, one of the country’s largest insurance companies.

In frustration I asked, “How does anyone over 50 get insurance, since most have pre-existing conditions?” His response: “Most don’t. What we have is a system of care that is not a system and doesn’t care.” That says it all.

It used to be said that banks would lend money only to people who could prove they didn’t need it. Now we have insurance companies that will provide health insurance only to those who can prove they don’t need it.

Susan Pepperdine

My premiums went up 14 percent in 2008 and 15 percent in 2009. I went back to $5,000 deductible to keep my premiums more reasonable, but health insurance is still my biggest business expense.

What has your experience been with obtaining coverage?

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