My Family’s American Dream and Health Coverage: My #GetCovered Story

Posted February 14, 2014

By Ali Kurnaz

In most ways, you could say my close-knit Orlando family had made it. My father and step-mom run a small restaurant, my sister attends the University of Central Florida nearby, and at the age of 22, I work as the Central Florida regional director for a nonprofit that works with underrepresented communities.

It’s the American Dream –or it looked that way. The unfortunate truth, however, was that without health insurance, we were one accident or illness away from losing it all. Other than coverage through Medicaid for a short time when I was a boy, my family was uninsured for most of my life. We just couldn’t afford it.

For myself, I’m very active. I enjoy rock climbing and play competitive soccer. I may not worry about heart conditions or arthritis, but, like any sport, it can get very physical. Even though we’re all friends, somebody often gets hurt.

At my age, it’s easy to think you’re invincible, but you never know what could happen.

So when the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for enrollment, I logged onto and chose a Platinum plan for myself.

And because I’ve always been the tech savvy one in the family, my parents and sister said, “Ali, do this.”  I helped them to enroll in a family Silver plan. We were eligible for lowered premiums, and the coverage for all four of us totaled about $300 a month.

This has been tremendous for our family’s peace of mind and financial security. Just last year, my step-mom cut her hand in the restaurant kitchen and suffered some minor burns. The cost at the emergency room was thousands of dollars, a cost our family could barely shoulder.

Having health insurance helps me do the things I love, like soccer and rock climbing, without that fear in the back of my mind. It’s a relief for my whole family.

If you’re uninsured, no matter your age, you owe it to yourself to find out what your options are. And don’t stop there! Tell your family and friends that they have options that might be cheaper than you’d think. My family is living our American Dream. Shouldn’t yours?

Check out your options at, or you can enroll by phone through the 24/7 call center at 1-800-318-2597.