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Health reform

Why can’t I get health insurance?!

Marketplace Staff Jul 1, 2010
Health reform

Why can’t I get health insurance?!

Marketplace Staff Jul 1, 2010


Kai Ryssdal:We mentioned high risk insurance pools a little while ago. Basically, people who’d been denied health insurance because of preexisting conditions will now have a chance to get it. That out to mean fewer calls like these, from the comedy sketch group “Nice Kitchen” at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.

Carol: Hi, Mr. Johnson. This is Carol, how may I assist your call?

Mr. Johnson: Hi, I wanted to ask why my application was denied for heath insurance?

Carol: Well sir, people with preexisting conditions, unfortunately, have a harder time acquiring health care.

Mr. Johnson: Um, what preexisting condition?

Carol: I’m sorry sir, but obesity is a preexisting condition. People with obesity have a much higher rate of heart failure and diabetes.

Mr. Johnson: That’s ridiculous! I’m five pounds overweight!

Carol: I’m sorry sir, can I put you on hold for a second? Hi, this is Carol, how may I assist your call?

Mr. Andrews: I was just wondering why my health care premium is so insanely high?

Carol: OK, let me see your file here… Well Mr. Andrews, you have hay fever, and unfortunately, we charge higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions.

Mr. Andrews: What? Allergies are a preexisting condition?

Carol: Well, people with hay fever are susceptible to many respiratory diseases.

Mr. Andrews: This is crazy! I would like to talk to your manager!

Carol: Yes sir, I’ll transfer you immediately. Hold please. Hi, this is Carol. How may I assist you today?

Caller 3: Hi, um, I was denied my health care coverage. It says for a preexisting condition?

Carol: Yes ma’am, you were.

Caller 3: I don’t understand. I am in perfect health and no diseases run in my family. In fact, I was a professional athlete in my early 20s, and I have never smoked or had a drink in my entire life.

Carol: Yes ma’am, but you live in North Carolina. And you’re a woman.

Caller 3: So?

Carol: Current statistics show that females are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, and in North Carolina, domestic violence, unfortunately, is considered a preexisting condition.

Caller 3: I’m not even in a relationship! Are you serious?

Carol: Yes ma’am. Oh, can you hold for a minute? Hi, this is Carol. How may I assist your call?

Vampire: Hi, I am a vampire. I am immortal. This means I cannot die. I just want to purchase cheaper blood so I don’t go hungry and kill other people, making more vampires. Can I please get health insurance?

Carol: Well, let me see here… Vampires. V-A-M-P… Hrmm… Let me see. Oh! Well, lucky for you, being dead is not a preexisting health condition. Hurray! We’ll be mailing you an application in five to seven business days.

Vampire: I want to suck your blood.

Carol: That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day.

Ryssdal: “Nice Kitchen” is Anne Gregory, Ann Maddox, Brian Moran, Joe Saunders and Mike Truesdale. Read or listen to another skit from the Upright Citizens Brigade.

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