Because It Strengthens Our Communities...

Posted October 7, 2013

The health of a community begins with the health of its members. Each year, tens of thousands of Americans are unable to access the health care services they need to stay active and productive in their community. But thanks to the health care law, all of that is changing.

Thanks to the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the health care law, people like Caroline, Kate, and Elizabeth can continue to serve their communities without having to worry about being uninsured.

Caroline is 27 and works as a substitute teacher and part-time guidance counselor at a school in her community in suburban Washington, D.C. She has been uninsured since 2009. A couple of years ago, Caroline broke her wrist and needed to go to the emergency room to get it treated. She told us about her experience, saying:

“I ended up having to spend two and half days in the hospital, and had to be transferred to another hospital to get treatment. I couldn’t believe that such a relatively minor injury turned into such a long and expensive ordeal. This was all made worse by the fact that I was uninsured, and had to face the final bill myself.”

Caroline knows firsthand the risks one runs by going without insurance. While she’s looking for a permanent position at the school that will provide benefits, she’s looking to buy in the Marketplace in Maryland in the meantime.

“I want to get insurance on the Marketplace to avoid a repeat of what happened before. Life has a way of throwing things at you that you never expected, and it’s good to be as prepared for life’s challenges as you can be.”

Kate frequently volunteers in her community, and volunteers for a number of organizations. Through her professional and volunteer experiences, she’s seen the key role access to quality health care can play in a community. But beyond that, she knows that a healthy community begins with the individual:

“Something as simple as having health insurance helps me ensure that even minor illnesses don’t saddle me with the kind of debt that would make it hard for me to have the free time to give to the community. Access to affordable, quality health insurance allows community members to focus on other things such as employment, education, and their families.”

Kate is 30 years old and was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She’s self-employed, working as a consultant for a non-governmental organization, and has to buy her own insurance. She was looking to the Marketplace for better, more affordable coverage than what she currently has, and was happy with what she found.

“I pay a lot right now for current coverage, and still end up paying out of pocket for a lot of preventive services and tests that are important for women my age to have. I decided to check out the Health Insurance Marketplace because I thought: if I can get better coverage at a better price…why not?

I was honestly a little overwhelmed by how many plans I found on the Marketplace that fit my needs. I’m still shopping to make sure I make the right decision, but I’m so happy to know that I can get the coverage I need for less than what I pay now. It’s very exciting!”

 

It's important to me to be able to not worry about what I'd do if I got sick. Elizabeth in Brooklyn, NY

Elizabeth is 29 and uninsured. She just finished a graduate program in social media and wants to work on education policy issues in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY. She knows it’s important to have health insurance, and was eager to check out her options in the Marketplace.

“I try to keep the list of things I have to worry about as short as possible, so it’s important to me to be able to not worry about what I’d do if I got sick. It was great to be able to get online and see that there are a number of plans for me on the Marketplace. I’m still trying to decide what plan is right for me, but it’s good to know that if I want a catastrophic plan or a plan that covers everything I can imagine, I have options.”

All of these women appreciate the importance of having health insurance. The new Health Insurance Marketplaces make it easier for them to make side-by-side comparisons of coverage options and to find a brand name plan that fits their needs and budget.

Visit HealthCare.gov today to learn about the quality and affordable health insurance options available in your area, call 1-800-318-2596, (TTY 1-855-889-4325), or use the Find Local Help feature on HealthCare.gov to find people in your community who are trained to help you understand your coverage options. One application, one time and you’ll see apples to apples comparisons of plans and programs you qualify for, and can even see if you qualify for lower costs. Enroll now for coverage beginning January 1.