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Demond’s #GetCovered Story: Getting Insured Just in Time

I believe that if it wasn’t for that coverage and the Affordable Care Act, I wouldn’t be here today.

After I got laid off a couple of years ago and lost my health insurance, my mother told me about the Health Insurance Marketplace and urged me to get covered—for my peace of mind and hers. I thought I was healthy, but—well you know how persuasive moms can be, so I took her advice and I enrolled in a plan that started on May 1, 2014.

Then about two weeks later, my life changed.

Demond Sharp. Detroit, Michigan.
I went to Covenant Community Care clinic on a Thursday with stomach pains. When I fainted, they sent me by ambulance to the hospital where laparoscopy determined it wasn’t appendicitis. I was then prepped on Friday for a colonoscopy on Saturday. When I awoke from that procedure, the doctor told me I had to have surgery the next day to biopsy a mass they found. The lab results came back: I had stage 3 colon cancer. I was stunned, and my mother started crying.

I admit it, I was scared. But one thing I didn’t have to worry about was how I was going to afford the surgery and six months of chemotherapy.  My Marketplace insurance covered nearly $489,000 of the surgery, chemo and other costs. Even better, my premium was only $150 a month after the tax credit and my deductible was about $4,500.

To know that my bills would be covered gave me a sense of peace.

Now I am cancer free and I have a full-time job with health benefits from the city of Detroit. I’m grateful that my Marketplace insurance was there when I needed it. I believe that if it wasn’t for that coverage and the Affordable Care Act, I wouldn’t be here today.

If you don’t have insurance, go to the Marketplace and check out your options for coverage. Don’t delay—time is running out. Open Enrollment for 2016 ends on Sunday, January 31.

Financial assistance may be available to make your insurance even more affordable than you think. This is important, because people who can afford insurance and choose to go without it risk having to pay a fee of $695 or more. For instance, a single person with no dependents and $40,000 income would pay an estimated $746. Don’t just listen to me; learn more about this fee for yourself here.

Just visit to sign up today. You can also call 1-800-318-2596 for free, confidential help 24/7. You can find in-person help right in your own community by visiting  I got help finding the right plan for me from a navigator at a local hospital.

When I look back, I know it was worth it. You never know when you might face a serious illness or accident. So stop procrastinating and get insured.  Or as my mother would say, “Just go get it done.”

If it wasn’t for that coverage and the #ACA, I wouldn’t be here today.” –Demond of Detroit. via @HHSgov


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