Front page of Issue 16

The winter 2015 print edition is in stores now. Special report on the persistence of segregation in local public schools. Plus: 24-page insert commemorating the now shuttered weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian, produced by the newspaper’s former staff.

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Health Reform Proving a ‘Lifeline’ for the Uninsurable

Video by Min Lee, Text by Viji Sundaram, New America Media

After having had private health insurance since he was 24 years old, Doug Ogden noticed in 2009 that his premiums “were spiking at a crazy rate,” pricing him out of the market. That aside, he said, Blue Shield was chipping away at his benefits, “decreasing coverage dramatically.”

“I was getting little value for what I was paying,” he asserted.

So Ogden dropped his Blue Shield coverage and went on his partner’s employer-based group insurance plan.

Five years earlier, though, Ogden, a small business owner, had been diagnosed with central sleep apnea, a condition that if left untreated could lead to such serious medical conditions as heart disease and strokes.

Then in 2010, his partner lost his job, and Ogden found himself uninsured. Worse, he found himself uninsurable because of his pre-existing health condition. (Insurance companies currently can deny with impunity people with pre-existing conditions.) 

Read the complete story at New America Media.