Leukemia patient dropped from health insurance because of new health care regulations

FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - An Arizona man with leukemia says he may soon have to get another job just to pay for healthcare insurance under the new Affordable Care Act.

Michael Cerpok, is a high school drop-out, one of six kids born to a school teacher, and doesn’t come from a wealthy family. He has run two businesses for more than 25 years and says he may have to do more to literally stay alive.

“I've worked hard because I've had to, and I’ve had to, because cancer runs in my family," says Cerpok, who picked his current health insurance based on that family history. His monthly premium is just about half of his monthly take-home pay.

Back in 2006, he found out he had an incurable form of leukemia that requires ongoing treatment until he dies.

In 2012, his treatment bill was more than $350,000. But because of his insurance, his out-of-pocket was only $4,500. 

That’s about to change because Michael just got a letter from his insurance carrier saying as of January 1, he would be dropped from coverage because of new regulations under Obamacare. His doctor at the Mayo Clinic may be gone as well.

"Now it doesn't mean I can't go see my current doctor, but my $4,500 out-of-pocket, is going to turn into a minimum of $26,000 out-of-pocket to see the doctor that I’ve been seeing the last seven years," he said.

Michael realizes millions of people will benefit from the coverage, but he wants them to realize that others are making sacrifices to make that happen. 

He says that he and his wife will continue to look at their options, try and find a similar plan, and if they need to, they’ll pick up second jobs.