Guest Column: The Right to the Pursuit of Health Insurance

Here is a guest column I wrote for Opine Season, Minnesota’s newish co-op ed page: A description of the site from their About page: “Our founders developed Opine Season as a platform for smart, strong, provocative voices of conviction. As a diverse collective, we hope to fill a gap left by mainstream media outlets that are disinterested and uncomfortable devoting space to informed, forceful opinions. Over time, we hope to shape awareness, thought, dialogue and policy around a variety of social, civic, personal and public issues.”

Opine Season

Last summer, for various reasons, my son and I lost our private health and dental insurance.  I was concerned, but knew that state health care was an option I could pursue.  It turns out that the word “pursue” was very fitting, and I soon felt I was chasing the impossible when I began the application process and jumped through innumerable hoops to obtain health insurance.

Any issue with the paperwork, and a notice would arrive saying I did not provide the necessary information and that my application was denied. I am organized, efficient and can multi-task like mad. I’ve earned a master’s degree, am a bookkeeper, and I’ve completed loads of due process as a special education teacher—all as a single mom to a busy 11-year-old, and yet trying to obtain state health insurance almost broke me.

It took six months of paperwork and a carefully weighted number of phone…

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