Essex day care director faces $500 rise CHEERY DAY CHILD CARE

June 26, 1994|By KIM CLARK | KIM CLARK,SUN STAFF WRITER

ESSEX — A photo caption on the front of Sunday's Business section that accompanied an article about the Cheery Day Child Care Center misidentified the child on the swing. Her name is Amanda Lubawski.

The Sun regrets the error.

ESSEX -- A 3-year-old boy streaks across the yard at the Cheery Day Child Care Center, then trips over the tip of one of his sandals and rolls on the ground.

"Be careful!" shouts Pat Snyder as the boy bounces up and zooms toward a row of tricycles.

Ms. Snyder, director of the day care center, says she's been careful all her life. The 40-year-old Overlea woman puts aside a little money every month so that she can buy a house. She takes care of her health, and in the 22 years she has worked for the center here, has always protected herself with health insurance bought through the company.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

But early last week, her broker told her that insurers will not renew Cheery Day's policy when it lapses July 1.

And that will leave Ms. Snyder stranded. She's the only employee on the company's policy. The center's three other full-time child care workers all have insurance through their husbands' employers.

The company's insurance broker told her that before the state reformed health insurance, businesses could buy group policies even if only one employee signed up.

But the new law sets a minimum of two employees for business group policies.

So, Ms. Snyder is shopping for health insurance on her own. And she's found that if she wants to keep the doctors and plan she's grown to like, it will cost her close to $500 more a year just in premiums.

Her monthly insurance bill will rise from $137 to $175. On top of that she'll have to pay more out of her own pocket for office visits and drugs.

She could save money by switching to another insurer. But she's been going to the same doctors for more than 20 years and doesn't want to change now.

"I work 12 hours a day. I've been here 22 years. I should be comfortable" about necessities like health care.

As she pushes a 2-year-old on a swing, she pauses and shrugs and says she has no choice but to absorb the extra cost.

The parents who send their children to the center for $80 a week can't afford an increase in rates to cover her increased insurance costs, she said.

"I'll have to watch what I'm doing with groceries. I won't rent as many pay-per-views. . . . I'll have to cut back on luxuries."

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