A Personal Story: Can’t Afford Preventive Care – Margaret, Corinth

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Margaret lives in Corinth, Vermont. Margaret, her husband Jonathan, and their three children have no dental insurance and they have high deductible health insurance. Annually they spend $12,000 for health insurance, and each person has a $3,500 deductible. In a good year they spend around $15,000 on dental and health care, and in the year with a birth, a broken arm and a broken leg, it was $25,000. Margaret pays for her kids’ dental care entirely out of pocket, “I go to the dentist with my kids and sometimes it’s $600.” She estimates they spend around $2,000 a year on dental care, “we’ve only had a couple of sealants and one cavity…it’s just expensive.”

Margaret and Jonathan are not a high income family: “Our income hovers at the level where you qualify for Dr. Dynasaur…we’re like the poster children for why we need a national healthcare policy. Our income doesn’t qualify us, but that’s before we pay for our healthcare. Once you take away that, we qualify for everything.”

The expense of paying health insurance and her kids dental care has made it difficult for Margaret and her husband to meet their own needs. “Between paying for our high deductible health insurance and paying for our kids to go to the dentist, Jonathan and I have not been to the dentist in three, four years.” Luckily, they don’t have any pressing dental problems, but they would prefer to get the cleanings and check ups they know are important preventative care. “I would like to go to the dentist. I mean, I’m going to get old and then I’m really going to pay for not going now.”

Illustration by Dennis Pacheco.

    One Response to “A Personal Story: Can’t Afford Preventive Care – Margaret, Corinth”

    1. Mike says:

      Since losing my high paying corporate job i too was with out health and dental care. it was hard, but i went to the free clinic, free health fairs and dental schools in my area that offered lost cost, or free, services.

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