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Private options

For some people, mainly farmers and other self-employed workers, group insurance is not an alternative.

Beery said private plans are available, but they are not cheap. A healthy 45-year-old with a healthy wife and two healthy kids will pay close to $800 a month for decent coverage. If Dad is a smoker or Mom's overweight, that number can shoot up to $900 or above.

Beery said, "It's hard for people. Normally, when they come to us, they are saying they cannot afford the kind of plan they would have with a large group plan. They're looking for something with a $2,000 deductible or higher, enough to make sure if somebody's in the hospital, they're covered."

 

 

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