Health Care Reform: Young Americans

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As part of our week-long series of health care roundtables, we’re talking with young people. They're coveted by health insurers, but with low salaries and high resilience, they’re often the least likely to buy in. We hear from Savlan Hauser, an architect in Oakland, California who has been buying her own catastrophic health insurance plan for the last three years; Nik Bonovich, a freelance journalist in Sacramento, California, who’s been buying premium health insurance since February; and Golnar Adili, who's been going without health care coverage for the past three years.

Click here to access the other round tables in this series

For more on the guests from today's roundtable continue reading...

Savlan Hauser

27-year-old freelance architect in Oakland, California

  • Salvan works on a project-to-project basis, and doesn’t expect to get health care any time soon.
  • She says she pays out of pocket for most everything, because her $70 per month health care plan has a $10,000 deductible.
  • Has had catastrophe insurance for three years, and payments recently went up from $40 a month to $70 a month.
  • Has dual Canadian-American citizenship, and often travels to get health care for cheaper, including doctors’ visits in Mexico and buying eyeglasses in Japan.
  • She showed up in the ER and got stitches when she had health insurance through college, and her stitches cost $3,000.
  • The last time she paid for an eye exam out of pocket, it was $90.
  • She never had health care growing up because her dad has his own business. She and her sister remember he bought a dental pic and cleaned their teeth that way.
  • She’s been brought up to be skeptical of any treatment and told us, “Our system is set up to bring on more treatment," and that she's in favor of a single-payer, government-paid health care plan.

Nik Bonovich

30-year-old freelance journalist in Sacramento, California

  • Nik pays for his own health insurance from Kaiser Permanente for $284 per month, and has since February. He told us, “Since age 22, I’ve been paying for my own individual health care plan, on and off. I didn’t go premium until this February.”
  • He used to pay for a catastrophic plan only, at $80 per month, just in case he had any emergency room visits.
  • Says that Kaiser has a good all-inclusive health care plan, and it’s all under one roof.
  • He told us, “I’m using my savings, my tax refund and unemployment to pay for it.”

Golnar Adili

33-year-old artist in Brooklyn, New York

  • Golnar told us that she can’t afford health insurance, and that she used to work for an architecture firm, and got it through that job for two years, but that ended three years ago.
  • She's gotten her health insurance in the past at Woodhall Medical Center, because they have a plan for artists where you can swap work for doctor’s visits. 
  • Prior to that, she was in Charlottesville, Virgnia doing a sculpture fellowship where she was considered part-time staff, and found out about a free health clinic there to get services.
  • She’s had some osteopathic work done when her shoulder was hurting, and she paid for that out of pocket.
  • She said that her mom’s in her 60s and has diabetes, and that she's more concerned her mom gets health care first. Her father had cancer (and he didn’t have insurance) before passing away. That was scary when he was treated without health care.