True Healthcare Story: Marriage of Convenience

'Diana,' (real name withheld) is a middle aged mother living in a major Midwest city with a grown son. She recently lost her health coverage and made a choice that might surprise you- she got married for the health insurance. Below is our interview with her:

HeadCount: So, you had good healthcare, but you lost it and then were looking for an alternative plan. What factors did you consider in making your decision?

Diana: Cost was a major consideration.  I spoke with an insurance broker and after doing the math, the best we could do was $10,000 per year for health care – and that did not include dental coverage. This was not affordable to me.

I was lucky in that I found a job very quickly after my termination but my new position did not include health benefits.

What did you end up deciding?

I was lucky enough to have some very good friends who offered to marry me so that I could utilize their health insurance as “spouse.”  This started to look like a viable option since I did not want to spend $10k per year on healthcare premiums.

I had to look at the policies that each person “proposing marriage” had to offer and how much each would cost.  One of them came close to the $700 per month figure that I was already contemplating so that choice made little sense.

The other plan included a good medical plan, a dental plan and a prescription drug card for a mere $140 per month.  It didn’t seem like much of a choice when comparing the costs involved.

So, you decided to marry the second friend. How did the decision mesh with your morals and values?

It didn’t.  I always taught my son to “fight the system from within the system” – meaning – don’t break the law, don’t bend the rules.  Join the establishment and fight for new laws and new rules.

I have never been and never wanted to be a hypocrite.  I am who I am and I take full responsibility for my choices and my actions.  I am an extraordinarily honest person who believes that honestly IS the best policy.  The idea of a marriage of convenience went against all of my principles.  I don’t believe in marriage.  I have been married several times and it didn’t work for me.  Now I was agreeing to get married, which I loathed to do so that I could buck the system and be granted “the right” to affordable health care!

Did it impact anyone in your life?

Frankly, probably no one but myself.  Either friend I chose understood that it was to be a marriage of convenience only.  It impacted me because I would rather not have participated in this type of hypocrisy just to insure my physical well-being.

How would things have been different if you just would have had healthcare?

I most definitely would NOT have gotten married.

Overall, what is it like to go outside the box to get your healthcare needs met?

It’s lousy and I feel like a fraud.  I’m reassured by many of my friends that I’m doing nothing wrong.  I couldn’t get what I needed in health care coverage by conventionally agreeing to purchase it.  Therefore, I did what I had to do to make sure that my needs were met.  Basic survival.  In a country like the United States, it’s sinful that health care coverage isn’t considered a “right” like “freedom of speech”.