Why I'm Looking Forward to 2014

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN8m8rocLAk Some people think young adults don’t want or need health insurance, and, believe me, I used to feel the same way. But after I graduated from college, employers didn’t provide health benefits and my parents had retired, I realized how wrong I was. For me, health insurance was something I didn’t really appreciate or understand until I no longer had it.

Now, every time I’m sick or need a general check-up, I have to go to a walk-in clinic and pay out-of-pocket. Each of these doctor visits cost me over $100. If I needed medical attention for something more serious than tonsillitis or a UTI, for instance, the expenses would be overwhelming.

That’s why I was really excited to learn that, beginning in 2014, I won’t have to worry about the cost of staying healthy. Here’s why:

Under the Affordable Care Act ACA, health insurance exchanges will provide financial assistance to uninsured people with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL). (Click here to calculate what your percentage of the FPL is). If you receive insurance through your employer you probably won’t need or want to do this, and that’s fine. The exchanges are aimed at helping to expand coverage for folks who don’t get insurance through their jobs.

So, I’d go on a website similar to the websites we all use when buying a plane ticket. I’d type in my general information, and numerous windows would pop-up with various health insurance options. Options will include healthcare plans from well-known companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, etc. If I earn above 400% of the FPL, I buy the policy I want at the price offered. But, if I earn less than 400%, the government will provide me with assistance so I can pay for insurance I previously couldn’t afford.

The best part is that all my options will be clearly presented in the same place so I can compare and contrast my choices. Additionally, health plans have to incorporate the 10 Essential Health Benefits, which includes items such as prescription drugs and maternity care. Premiums also need to be 8% or less of my (or anyone’s) income or a person is exempt from the individual mandate.  I feel very confident I’ll be able to find a comprehensive plan within my financial means. If only 2014 could come sooner!

Check out our video that exemplifies this predicament many young adults are currently facing. And thanks to the ACA, it’s a predicament with a foreseeable, affordable solution. Here’s to a better, more covered future for all.

Can you think of anybody who would benefit from the health insurance exchanges?

Written By: Liz Moskowitz, Texans Care for Children