“Kat Robison left graduate school and a job in Pittsburgh last May to move back to her hometown of Raleigh to take care of her grandmother, who suffers from dementia and a balance disorder.
In abandoning her job, Robison lost her health insurance. Buying coverage on her own has always been too expensive because she suffers from asthma and migraines, two pre-existing conditions that led to higher premiums.
Under the Affordable Care Act, however, she was able to find health insurance to fit her budget….’I’ve actually been needing to go to the doctor, but because of financial aspects of being able to afford going to the doctor, I haven’t,’ she said. ‘As soon as I enrolled, I called and made an appointment….Just to have that peace of mind, if something happens, it won’t bankrupt me,’ she said. ‘I don’t think I’ll ever regret taking a few years off my life to make sure the end of (my grandmother’s) is much better.’”
Success Story #2
“Anna and Mark certainly have good reasons to be thankful for health insurance. They can testify to its importance in different ways. As college-educated, self-employed career professionals, Anna and Mark have been responsible for purchasing their own health insurance for many years. To cover Anna, they paid $900 per month in premiums, while Mark went without coverage for 18 years because adding him would have been too expensive.
Mark was fortunate to have no major illnesses during that time but says it was a terrifying experience not to know. He did not access routine care and would only go to the doctor for something urgent. Any medical costs had to be paid out-of-pocket. As he grew older, he developed a pre-existing condition, which made acquiring health insurance much more unlikely.
Anna had a very different experience. In 2008, she woke up unable to walk normally and made a trip to the emergency room. After one week in the hospital and a plethora of expensive tests and scans to figure out what was wrong, she was diagnosed with an uncommon neurological disorder. A lesion was found on her spinal cord, likely originating from a simple, barely noticeable virus similar to the way the Polio virus functioned. With her insurance, Anna and Mark paid $5,000 for all of her care that week, much less than the total bill. Without insurance, she says they would have ended up in a financial hole and would still be digging their way out today or simply not accessing adequate healthcare.
Unfortunately, the cost of premiums to cover Anna became so unmanageable that they had to drop her coverage, even though she also would be considered as having a pre-existing condition if they sought insurance in the future. They both waited eagerly for a year and a half for the implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplaces through the Affordable Care Act, when they could no longer be denied health insurance for pre-existing conditions and would have an opportunity to access a premium tax credit.
They’ve already begun to make use of their new insurance and would say to others who are considering a similar purchase to check it out and ‘please do it.’
‘The thing to know is that like most people we wanted insurance but needed to be able to afford it. That is the essence of the new Affordable Care Act — with its ‘subsidies’ and ‘market place,’ it helps health insurance to be affordable.’”
If you don’t already have health insurance, what are you waiting for? If you have an Affordable Care Act Success Story, we’d love to hear it!
Tiffany Buczek is a freelance writer and licensed esthetician living in Southern CA.