Saturday, June 15, 2013

Commentary: On Being Young and Wanting Health Insurance

Ed. note: This blog was first published on BET. You can see the original post here.

I'm a 24-year-old server and bartender in Philadelphia, an uncle, and a father figure to my sister's three children. And I'm one of the millions of young Americans who can't afford health insurance.

Until recently, that never struck me as a big deal. �When you're young and healthy, you don't really think about health insurance-or at least you don't think about it until something goes wrong and you need it.

Not too long ago, I hurt my foot pretty badly, and thought that I may have fractured a bone.� It was the sort of injury that if I had insurance I would've gotten checked out, but since I wasn't covered and couldn't afford to go see a doctor, I ended up just working through the pain.

That experience made me think about the consequences that a really serious accident could have on the rest of my life.� Without insurance, one injury could just turn my future upside down.

That's why I'm looking forward to the new Health Insurance Marketplaces being created thanks to the health care law.� This October, I'll be one of the people checking out affordable health plans on� I'll figure out which plan is the best fit for me and for my wallet, and I'll find out if I can get additional help covering costs from the new tax credits the law is making available.

Having health insurance is all about peace of mind-it means somebody's got your back in case anything happens to you.� And having that worry off my shoulders is going to make things so much easier for me as I work toward my goals, whether that ends up meaning going back to school or maybe looking for a better job.

Just because I'm young and healthy now doesn't mean I shouldn't be looking out for my future.� That's why I'll be visiting the Marketplace on October 1 to choose a health insurance plan.

You can learn more about the Marketplace and what you need to do to prepare for October.

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