In 2008, Mike and his wife Patti lost their health insurance coverage through Patti’s employer. To protect their own future, they began to look for other insurance options.
On Mike’s first call with an insurance agent, he was asked about any current health care conditions he, or his wife Patti, had. He shared that he was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in his left index finger. Once he shared this with the insurance agent, he was told:
“you’ll have to try elsewhere, you’re uninsurable.”
A family member in the insurance industry recommended some different companies, but they all rejected Mike because of his “pre-existing condition.” Mike later learned Rheumatoid Arthritis was a 'red flagged' condition in the insurance industry, which makes it difficult to find coverage without additional costs.
Through the Affordable Care Act, President Obama addressed Mike's issue head on. In 2011, thanks to health insurance reform, over 1,000 Wisconsinites, like Mike, had access to affordable health coverage. Mike can no longer be discriminated against because he has a pre-existing condition.
Now Mike and Patti have their health care insured through HIRSP - Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan. HIRSP is Wisconsin’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan established through the Affordable Care Act. This program helps to insure those who have been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
Today, Mike and Patti are grateful for health insurance reform and have joined our Organizing for America-Wisconsin team in New Berlin to continue to share the benefits of legislation, like the Affordable Care Act.