One of my cousins is quite the adventurer. He skis, rides a motorcycle, and climbs the highest hill for that one great photograph. And as befits the profile of a bold, energetic type, last year he left his job at a big company to join a college friend in starting a new business.
Amy as the Healthcare.gov
website for Purim
His tech start-up is still getting on its feet, as he and his business partner seek investors and travel to trade shows to shop their product. While it is an exciting time, he knows he has taken on some risk. As these two optimistic entrepreneurs pour their hearts and creativity into making their company successful, there was one thing my cousin knew was too great to risk: his health. Or to be more exact, going without health insurance. Like many workers who find themselves “job locked” (stuck in jobs they’d rather quit but stay for the benefits), it was scary that leaving his job meant also losing his insurance. And since he was older than 26 he couldn’t go back on his parent’s plan, a protection that his younger peers now have under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But thanks to the health insurance marketplace, my cousin was able to take this leap knowing he had options to get covered.
In the marketplace, he was able to explore his choices and enroll in a new plan that suited his health needs and his budget. My cousin can now count on coverage of a range of needed services -prescriptions, preventive care without copay (including annual doctor’s visits and STD screenings), and things like hospital stays and outpatient care.
It’s also good news for his financial future. He’s protected from jeopardizing his economic security in case he has an accident, motorcycle-related or otherwise. And while I don’t know the exact plan he selected, most young adults like him can find a plan in the marketplace that costs under $50 , and he didn’t have to fear being denied due to any pre-existing conditions. For coverage that’s more expensive than that, many people are learning they can qualify for financial help.
Thanks to the marketplace, my daredevil cousin can continue with confidence in staking his claim of “the American Dream” that so many on the political right and left like to talk about when referencing innovative start-ups. But no matter your political stripe, you can’t argue with the fact that getting covered is a game changer for millions of people like my cousin.
For others in his peer group it might mean being able to access coverage for the first time. For his friends starting families of their own, it means being able have maternity care and key infant and children’s health services. For his female friends, in addition to other essential benefits, it means being able to access women’s preventive services like birth control, mammograms, and pap smears without extra costs, protecting their financial future.
I’m thrilled my cousin was able to join the 6 million people who have now found coverage in the marketplace, and am eager to see him – and his new venture – continue to thrive.
Are you covered? You only have until March 31 to explore your choices and enroll. There are many ways to #GetCovered, and now is the time to do it:
- Visit www.healthcare.gov or call 1 800 318 2596, which is open 24/7 and with support available in many languages
- To find in-person help in your community, visit https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/
- Enroll by Monday, March 31 for coverage that can start as soon as May 1
- For more information, visit NCJW’s health coverage resource page, www.my.ncjw.org/ACA.