ACA Success Stories: Stephanie from Tyler, TX

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My name is Stephanie and I’m 37. In my 20s, I chose jobs so I could always have employer-sponsored health insurance because that was important to me. I was healthy and worked full-time until age 32, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My health insurance plan is a good one, so I’m glad that I didn’t have to go into debt to pay my bills. I’ve been on the same plan since 2005 and luckily, never had to change plans before the ACA was passed, when a new employer-sponsored plan could deny coverage for my cancer as a pre-existing condition. If I had lacked coverage when my cancer metastasized at age 34, I wouldn’t have been able to get the lifesaving treatment I did.

Because I’ve been in treatment for cancer for about four of the last six years, my health insurance plan has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Before the ACA, there were lifetime limits, and when your medical costs reached that limit, just when you were the sickest, they could drop you (and they could drop you before that if you were costing them too much). Before my cancer diagnosis, I was very healthy and had paid into my plan for six years, rarely needing services. But since cancer doesn’t discriminate, any of us could receive that diagnosis at any time. If the Republicans are successful in repealing the ACA in the future, insurance companies will be happy to go back to the bad old days, when they could use inhumane business tactics to maximize profits. If the ACA is repealed, people like me who happen to have cancer could die because someone in a shiny office building decided that my lifetime should have a limit.

The Cover Texas Now Coalition is looking for stories like Stephanie’s. We’d like to know how the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid have helped you and your family. Are you willing to share your story with us? If so, please visit this page and tell us how these programs have affected you.