The Health Insurance Marketplace: Giving Moms Peace of Mind

Posted February 5, 2014
By Dr. Nancy C. Lee, Director, Office on Women’s Health

Like many women, I wear a lot of hats. During the day I’m the director of the Office on Women’s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). All of the time, I’m a mom.  Like most moms, I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights worrying about my kids. Now that they’re in their twenties (and technically adults!), I still worry about them. I just worry about different things. Can they pay their rent? Are they building healthy relationships? Will they find happiness and fulfillment in the path they choose?

One of the things I no longer have to worry about is their ability to get good health insurance. In the past, health coverage was expensive; people could be denied coverage if they had pre-existing conditions; and insurance companies could remove children from their parents’ plans at age 19. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, that’s no longer the general rule. And thanks to the Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s easier than ever to shop for health insurance.

Fortunately, my daughter found a job after college that provides health insurance benefits.  My son is a 25-year-old film major graduating from college this May. For now, the health care law allows him to stay on my plan. But, when he turns 26 this summer, he’ll be on his own, and there’s a good chance that the job that fulfills his passion won’t offer health coverage. With the Marketplace, that’s okay — now he’ll be able to sign up for affordable health insurance on his own.

The Marketplace is ideal for both of us. With just one application, he’ll be able to find and compare all the plans that are offered in his area and determine which best fits his lifestyle. He’ll also be able to pursue his dream job, regardless of whether it provides health insurance, because the Marketplace will help him find coverage and may help him pay for it, depending on his income. Most importantly, I won’t have to worry he’ll go without coverage. He’ll be able to see a doctor regularly for preventive care, and if something happens, a trip to the emergency room won’t wipe out his savings.

As the director of the Office on Women’s Health and as a mom, I know that the Marketplace is a powerful tool that will have an impact on millions of Americans, including my son. It can help your son or daughter, too.

Our children know we can give them information they can trust. That’s why HHS is reaching out to us, moms. HHS hopes that by speaking to moms, they will in turn talk to their children about how the Health Insurance Marketplace can help them find health coverage more easily. When we know our children have access to good, affordable coverage, we can stop worrying.  

Please share this message with all of the moms you know.

I also encourage you to watch and share this video from HHS. It reminds us that the Health Insurance Marketplace is making it easier for our adult children to find quality and affordable health insurance coverage.

All they have to do is visit www.HealthCare.gov, call 1-800-318-2596, hearing impaired callers using TTY/TDD technology can dial 1-855-889-4325, to sign up for coverage.  Enrollment is open until March 31.