Putting His Entrepreneurial Skills to Work: Chris’ #GetCovered Story

Posted January 29, 2014
By Judy Sarasohn, Public Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services

Chris Markl has often combined his passions for economics, social justice, business, and sports. Whether it’s organizing a cross-country bike ride that raised more than $85,000 for charities or founding an “ethical apparel” company in Kenya. Or leaving the security of a job at Florida State College at Jacksonville to start his own consulting company.

A major challenge, however, was trying to get his shop, The EKONOMISTS, off the ground while paying for health insurance that didn’t really cover much. Chris told me his previous plan cost $200 a month with a deductible of about $3,000.

Under the health care act, I obtained a better plan, more coverage and a much lower deductible." - Chris Markl, Jacksonville, Florida. HealthCare.gov.“Insurance is mostly useful if you feel you can afford to go to the doctor, but this is a comfort that I did not have,” Chris told me. “I didn’t feel comfortable going to the doctor if I was sick or hurt.”

But because of the Affordable Care Act, he can now put his entrepreneurial skills to work, while having the financial security and peace of mind that comes with quality health insurance that he can afford.

Chris joined the approximately 3 million Americans who have enrolled so far in private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. He logged onto HealthCare.gov last month and chose a silver plan with Blue Cross that costs $120 month, with financial assistance. His new deductible is about $500.

At 33 years old, Chris is young and healthy. But while he’s willing to take risks in business, the risk that Chris did not want to take was to go without health coverage.

“It’s the cost of being an adult,” Chris told me. “I value myself as a person more than my car.”

This is what Chris has to say about the Affordable Care Act and being an entrepreneur:

“Entrepreneurs have always built the American economy. This new health care law is enabling more Americans to take a risk and start a business. So, the health care law is both protecting Americans and building the economy of the future.”

Chris took part in an event last week in Jacksonville with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to get the word out to uninsured individuals and families that there are affordable options for quality health coverage through the Marketplace.

You can enroll by February 15, for coverage that begins March 1st. Open enrollment continues through March 31st.

Besides enrolling like Chris online at HealthCare.gov, you can also enroll by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325; by mail; or directly through an insurer, agent or broker. You can find trained individuals who can help you at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.