PORTLAND, Maine — It was no normal bagel-and-knife mishap that put Owen Marshall’s career and marriage in jeopardy.
Marshall, a musician by trade, had already sliced the bagel in half a couple days before, without incident. He then put the bisected breakfast treat in the freezer. Pulling it out again a few days later, Marshall picked up the same sharp blade and tried to pry the two frozen halves apart.
That’s when he slipped. The knife tip plunged into his left hand, severing both of his little finger’s flexor tendons. Marshall immediately headed for a nearby urgent care center.
“It didn’t bleed much,” he said, “But then they wanted to move my finger, and I almost passed out. The realization of what happened was crushing.”
The injury would eventually keep Marshall out of work for six months. It also led him into an insurance black hole known as the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch.”
Marshall would soon lose his ACA insurance subsidy because he had just gotten married. Without the subsidy, his premiums and deductibles soared at the same time his medical bills piled up. Without work, Marshall’s friends had to organize a fundraiser to help him get by. He finally got back to work this month but still faces hard choices. The only sure way to get his affordable health care back, is to get divorced.
Troy R. Bennett
Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.
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