Good Health Now Runs In the Family: My #GetCovered Story

Posted March 20, 2014
By Andrea Jahen
Austin, Texas

As a 23-year-old Latina in Austin, I never thought much about getting health insurance. I didn’t think I needed it. I never got sick and it always seemed too expensive.

Everyone has to prioritize their expenses and health insurance wasn’t one of mine.

My focus was going to Austin Community College and then getting a four-year degree so I could teach physics or math in high school. I worked as a restaurant hostess to support myself.

My sister, Candy, and I heard about the Health Insurance Marketplace and the new requirement to have health insurance, so we decided to look into it. For the first time, we realized that we really could afford quality coverage and we signed up together with the help of a Navigator. It became a sisterly adventure!

I found a Silver plan at a reduced premium for only $32 a month that I could afford on my waitress earnings. My sister also found a quality plan that costs less than if she went on her new husband’s plan.

I’m just one of the more than 8 million Latinos nationwide who might qualify for a break on costs in the Marketplace. The best part is that you can easily find out through HealthCare.gov whether you qualify for reduced rates.

And what a lot of people don’t know is that Marketplace health plans include recommended preventive services, such as cervical cancer screening and mammograms, at no additional cost.

We’re telling our friends and co-workers to sign up now at HealthCare.gov, or in Spanish at CuidadoDeSalud.gov. Go to localhelp.healthcare.gov and punch in your zip code to find in-person help—in English or Spanish — in your community. You can also call 1-800-318-2596 24/7 and get assistance in Spanish or any of 150 languages.

But don’t delay! Sign up now, before open enrollment ends March 31st or your next chance won’t be until November.

Now that I can visit a doctor when I need to, I can see that not prioritizing my health was a mistake and Candy agrees. Now we can both add taking care of ourselves to our “to do” lists, whether it’s for our families, my future high school students, or just a little sibling rivalry.