The youngest congresswoman in US history says she paid far more for coverage as a server.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress. A year ago, she had been working as a waitress. At that time, she says she was paying twice as much for health insurance as she is as a congresswoman.
Ocasio-Cortez now represents New York’s 14th district in Congress.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been transparent about the transition she has experienced over the last few months. For instance, she has live streamed conversations with constituents at the same time that she prepared her dinner. Equally, she shared the struggles she faced in renting a Washington D.C. apartment.
Similarly, the congresswoman has shared the difference she has seen in the cost of health insurance now that she has taken her new position. She found that health insurance premiums are notably lower than they were when she had been working as a waitress. She tweeted:
In my on-boarding to Congress, I get to pick my insurance plan.
As a waitress, I had to pay more than TWICE what I’d pay as a member of Congress.
It’s frustrating that Congressmembers would deny other people affordability that they themselves enjoy. Time for #MedicareForAll.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 1, 2018
As a member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins those who choose gold-level healthcare.
Both members of Congress and their staff members typically select gold-level health plans using the insurance exchanges. A recent CNBC report showed that members of congress usually pay about 28 percent of their annual health plan premiums via pre-tax payroll deductions. Moreover, they also obtain federal subsidies that provide them with another 72 percent of their monthly premium expenses.
Furthermore, the report also pointed out that additional healthcare benefits are provided “free or low-cost” benefits that are unavailable by way of other healthcare plans on the insurance exchanges. Congress members are permitted to pay an annual fee of an undisclosed amount in order to obtain treatments from the Office of the Attending Physician. Through this benefit, they can obtain examinations, consultations and various types of diagnosis test from the Office of the Attending Physician. Additionally, congressmen and congresswomen can receive free medical outpatient care at Washington D.C. area military facilities.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reported 2017 annual earnings of $26,581 when she was a waitress living in the Bronx (Parkchester). The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator estimated that at that level of income and in that location this year, her monthly silver plan premiums would be $160 per month ($1,922 per year). That said, she currently estimates that members of Congress are paying under $80 per month ($960 per year) for gold plan health insurance.