As I returned home from work the other day, I did what I always do … I stopped on the way up to my condo to pick up my mail. I started thumbing through and, in the midst of all the junk mail, I noticed an envelope that showed that my health insurance company, which has been wonderful, sent me my renewal rates.
I am on the small business guaranteed issue plan. When I first went on the plan, my wife of blessed memory, worked as my bookkeeper, and we were fortunate enough to get in as a two-person group. When she passed away, even as I dealt with my grief, I was concerned about my health insurance. Caring for my beloved wife had taken its toll on me and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Fortunately, I was informed that, as I had been on the plan for quite some time, I would be grandfathered in at the two-person rate.
Now, please don’t get me wrong, the two-person rate was not exactly what you would call inexpensive. But I needed a good insurance plan and I stayed with it. This year, however, I was informed that I would be receiving rates based on a one-person group. Well, let me tell you something, when I saw the rate increase, I almost had a heart attack… So you might be wondering what the new rate is? Well, let me tell you, and before I do, remember that I am only 56. I do Zumba two to three times a week and I do ballroom and Latin dancing twice a week. It is true that I had bypass surgery within the past five years, but my cardiologist says that I am in better aerobic shape than most people my age. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink. So what is the new rate? Are you ready for this? $1,553.71, and that is not the yearly amount … no, that is what I am expected to pay each and every month to keep my health insuranc!
On top of this raise … since I hope to remarry again someday, I asked my agent what the rate would be if I had a wife whom I wanted to put on the plan. He said, “Double it.” For those of you who don’t feel up to doing the math in your heads, doubling it would meant I would be paying just under $40,000 dollars a year for health insurance premiums on a high deductible no less.
I needed to come up with a solution and fast. So I did a little research and found that the small business rate I get is based on the age of the owner of the company. So I thought about marrying a 21-year-old and making her the owner of the corporation, but let’s face it, 21 is a wee bit young for me.
So when I was at one of the health centers the other day, I walked over to the nurses’ station and announced that if any of them have good insurance and would like to get married that I am available. While they found the announcement amusing, the truth is that their response was … “Rabbi, we work in healthcare, we don’t have good insurance … you’re looking in the wrong place.”
So, dear readers, I now turn to you … and who knows … maybe this will get passed on to the national or international press … If any of you ladies out there have a good insurance plan and that plan entitles your husband to go on it for a reasonable (or at least, affordable) price, give some thought to the possibility of marrying me … a good insurance plan is all I ask … okay, there may be one or two other things I ask for, but, sadly, right now, insurance has become a top priority.
Shalom My Friends,
Rabbi Craig H. Ezring