I’m a single young professional, not covered by health insurance, working on my application to grad school. Two years ago, I looked at the price for health insurance for an individual, and it was discouraging. A bare-bones policy would have cost me almost a thousand dollars, and would still leave me bankrupt if anything went wrong. I’ve been uninsured since then, compulsively hoarding money so I could pay the bills if something went wrong and I became terribly injured or sick, and paying the full uninsured cost whenever I needed something looked at.
Today, I signed up for health insurance through the New York State of Health exchange. The price for a solid silver-level plan before subsidies was only a bit more than a third of what I had been quoted by the Freelancers’ Union two years ago - $350. With the tax credit, it’s even less. Now that I know my out-of-pocket is capped, I can put my savings toward going to grad school and becoming a certified teacher, as I’ve wanted to do for years.
Why could I have such amazing success? Because New York City has a public health option. It’s called MetroPlus, and it’s run by the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation largely as a public benefit. It had been providing Medicaid services and coverage for city health employees, but now it’s being made available to all of us through the exchange. Because it isn’t seeking massive profit, it can charge lower prices - bringing costs down for people who sign up, and also driving down the prices from other insurers. On top of that, our otherwise feckless governor made sure to negotiate hard with the insurance companies, bringing costs down further.
We’re not all the way yet, and things can be better. But I am giddy with relief, knowing that I can follow my dreams and give back without the threat of bankruptcy hanging over my head.
The person running ACA Success Stories and the Twitter account @ACASuccessTales is not affiliated with any government agency, news service, website, or other organization. He's just a guy who thinks one person telling their own story has more power than a million pundits.
The stories here are anecdotes told by people who submit them. The purpose is not to provide citations for some cause or other, but to share the success stories of the Affordable Care Act.
If you have a success story, I'd love to share it. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great day. Subscribe via RSS.