Sac Bee: In California, middle class feels health insurance squeeze

By Christopher Cadelago and Phillip Reese
Dawn and Nick LaPolla of Fair Oaks are solidly middle class, and they aren’t uninsured.

Yet their required switch to a new health insurance plan under federal changes puts them at a financial crossroads.

If they earn less than $94,200 a year, the family of four’s preferred plan through the California health exchange would cost about $750 a month. But if they make even slightly more, they’ll pay about $1,040. That’s because they would exceed the threshold to qualify for federal subsidies. Their current high-deductible plan, which expires in two months, costs $573 a month.

Unlike wealthier state residents who more easily can afford the new, often more comprehensive plans, or lower-income people aided bygovernment subsidies, the LaPollas are part of a sizable segment of Californians slowly coming to grips with dedicating a greater percentage of their income to new policies.

“It’s completely unfair,” said Dawn LaPolla, 40. “Wouldn’t you consider us still part of that struggling group? We’re not buying yachts. We’re not going on trips every year. We’re not putting our kids in private schools. We’re not buying Fendi bags. We’re still unsure whether we will be able to pay our mortgage.”


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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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