By Stefania Fochi
Hi. I’m Stefania Fochi. I’m 25 years old, I live in Sarasota, Fla., and for the past four years I didn’t have health insurance.
It made me very nervous, because I work with heavy machinery when I make empanadas and pasta in my family’s business. There have been times when I’ve been using the big 2,000-pound kneader and almost caught my hand and thought: If I had to go to the emergency room, what would I do?
Also there’s a history of ovarian cancer in my mother’s family: My great-grandma died of it, my grandma had it and my mom had it, so I need to keep up on the checkups. But I wasn’t able to because I didn’t have health insurance. I rarely was able to go to a doctor in the four years since I quit my job with a corporation to start an empanada business.
Now I have health insurance that gives me peace of mind and financial security. I logged onto the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov and found an affordable policy with excellent coverage. Because I was eligible for lower costs, my policy costs only $98 a month, with a deductible of $750.
I think it’s very important for 20-year-olds to have insurance even though many of them think they are too young and that nothing can happen. You never know. You could get into a car accident. Not having health insurance puts you instantly in a hole.
Having health insurance is going to help me achieve my goals of creating an empanada empire because I will have the peace of mind knowing that I don’t have to spend any time worrying about what if something happens to me. I will be able to focus on what’s important, which is going to be my business.
We opened our first pasta and empanada store on Monday. Having a business is hard. We work a lot but it is definitely a labor of love. And having health insurance is absolutely making it possible for me to chase my dream.