Family trying to stay healthy, can’t really afford insurance

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jennifer Alessandrini and her family have not had insurance since she delivered her youngest children, twin daughters.
Anna and Emily are now 14. Alessandrini’s husband, Rick, is self-employed as a ceramic tile contractor. His salary fluctuates with the economy, and Jennifer works part-time.
“We can’t afford insurance,” Jennifer says simply. “I try to keep my kids healthy. We don’t run to the doctor. We take over-the-counter medications. I don’t make a big deal out of being sick.”
Luckily, the family, including sons Joshua, 16, and Victor, 20, has been healthy.
When her older son had an accident and ended up in the ER, family members stepped in to pay his bill.
“For us, it was not a small bill,” Alessandrini says.
Fortunately, the Alessandrini family qualified for a fully subsidized insurance program. Jennifer, Rick and Victor are on the policy, while the three younger children are on Medicaid.
“Our income does not allow us to pay premiums,” Alessandrini says. “My children are eligible for reduced lunches at school.”
The family signed up for coverage in December, but are still waiting for insurance cards and information booklets.
“I think everybody’s hoping it will work out,” Alessandrini says of the Affordable Care Act. “We just have to keep our fingers crossed.”