By Betsy Furler
As a health care professional and a mom in Houston, I’ve seen firsthand that anything can happen to anybody at any time. Too many of my patients have been forced into deep financial holes – some have even gone bankrupt – because of medical emergencies.
But it’s not just my patients. My family too, has had to live in fear because we couldn’t get affordable health insurance. There have been times when we couldn’t get any insurance at all. You see, each of us has a pre-existing condition that insurers wouldn’t cover.
I actually used to take jobs just for the health benefits, while working at the same time to establish my own speech therapy business. Eventually, my family turned to expensive COBRA coverage, but even that ran out a year ago. The only option we had left was a short-term catastrophic plan that didn’t cover much.
Worse yet, our insurer refused to cover our 16-year-old son who has epilepsy and other serious medical issues.
Figuring out how to pay for health care has been a constant struggle for us.
But all that’s changed thanks to the Affordable Care Act. It truly is a new day.
Recently, I was able to enroll my family – my entire family – in quality health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov.
We chose a gold plan. Not only is my son finally covered, our premium is only half what we were paying before. I was shocked to learn that my prescriptions, which used to cost $280 a month, are now only five dollars!
The coverage is affordable and it’s there when we need it. And even though that feels exceptional to us, my family is not an exception. Some families of four in Houston could pay as little as $52 a month for a bronze plan.
Having health insurance is so much more than a card in my wallet or a bill at the pharmacy. Because of the Affordable Care Act, my family now has the financial security and tremendous peace of mind that comes with coverage.
I don’t have to work for someone else just for the health benefits anymore. I’ve launched my small business and can focus on expanding it because I now can afford health coverage for my entire family. And we no longer live in fear of the next hospital bill.
Our coverage went into effect February 1, and we couldn’t be happier.
There’s still time to check out your options in the Marketplace. Visit HealthCare.gov and enroll in a plan today. Open enrollment continues through March 31.