It has been, in the words of one unhappy Mississippi call center worker, “a hard pill to swallow.” Every day Lanycha Hall, who works for the federal contractor Maximus at its facility in Hattiesburg, helps people enroll in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans.

But Hall said she can’t afford her own company-sponsored health insurance. “When I realized I couldn’t afford that because my deductible was so high, I just had to take a day off because I just couldn’t focus on helping everyone while I couldn’t afford my own medicine,” she said.

Hall’s co-worker Sherry Collier said they “work for a vendor who is offering help to the general public, but we, as employees, can’t get the affordable insurance we need.” “I’m helping people making under $25,000, and I’m making under $25,000,” Collier said. “Their co-payments are like $25, and their premiums per month may be zero dollars, and I’m paying $4,500 for a premium per year. How can that be? That’s just totally ridiculous.”

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