Reporter's Notebook

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, What’s Her Copay Like?

By Phil Galewitz

August 16th, 2011, 4:04 PM

When Rabbi Craig Ezring’s annual health insurance costs soared 38 percent this year to a whopping $18,636, he did more than just complain.

Insurance is a top priority for Rabbi Craig Ezring

He went looking for a young wife.

For several years, the Boca Raton, Fla., rabbi had been getting coverage through a small corporation he formed with his wife. When she died four years ago, he thought the cost of his insurance coverage would drop. Instead it rose.  That’s partly because Ezring, 56, had a heart bypass surgery a couple of years ago. Nonetheless, he said he’s still quite healthy, and does ballroom and Latin dancing twice a week.

When he got his latest health insurance bill in August, Ezing said he almost had a heart attack.

An insurance broker told him his small business insurance rate is based on the age of the owner of the company. So, Ezring posted on his blog that he was looking for a younger woman who wouldn’t mind marrying him to help him get cheaper coverage. “Give some thought to the possibility of marrying me … a good insurance plan is all I ask. Okay there maybe one or two other things I ask for, but sadly, right now insurance has become a top priority,” he wrote.

Ezring, a rabbi at several nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida, said he’s had a few “comical offers” of marriage in response, including one asking if he wanted to move to South Carolina.

Ezring said his insurer, UnitedHealthcare, has been good to him in making sure he gets services he need and can see the doctors he wants. But with the latest rate hike, he feels like he’s working mostly just to afford his health coverage. He’s shopped for other policies, but other companies won’t offer him coverage.

Told that Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who vehemently opposes the federal health overhaul, is only paying about $400 a year for his state-subsidized health insurance, Ezring chuckled. “It would be lovely if everyone could pay that amount for really good insurance,” he said.

5 Responses to “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, What’s Her Copay Like?”

  1. k schlabach says:

    If lawmakers paid for their own insurance it would certainly be an eye opener.

  2. It’s patently absurd that members of Congress and certain state government officials enjoy low cost, good quality health insurance while denying the rest of us the public option for health care insurance. Ordinary US citizens, whether independents, republicans, or democrats should join hands in demanding federally sponsored universal health care insurance for all of us citizens. Now!

  3. Howard Christofersen says:

    Dear Rbbi Ezring,
    When I was 72, I had a quadruple coronary bypass to relieve a major heart attack. It was suggested that if I was lucky and had the support of good medical care, I could expect ten more years. I am now 88. I make sure I get some exercise daily like caring for a garden, I keep my mind active by teaching chess at Boys and Girls Club and by contributing to Voice of the People in the Chesterton Tribune, I promote liberal ideas. Follow your doctors orders and keep slim. I weight two pounds more that when I graduated from high school.
    As a doctor(surgeon) I support one payer universal care. I have worked in army, mission hospital in S. Africa, VA hospital , in a 12 doctor growing to 20 clinic, and finally 8 years as a physician for a steel mill. Then forced to retire at 72/

  4. Natasha Coulter says:

    Interestingly enough – its not a bad offer. I hope your search for a companion with insurance benefits is fruitful but remember, love should always be part of the equation! After all – you’ll have coverage needs for another 20 to 25 years! You might start looking at long term care policies – even employer group plans have their limits LOL!

  5. Keith Johnson says:

    Did you try Kaiser Permanente in Florida?