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Nia H. Washington, DC
Nia H., Washington DC
Nia, a med student at Howard University, thinks health care is a right not a privilege and therefore, was already very happy that reform was signed into law.
“I was actually really excited for other people because I didn’t think it was going to apply to me,” she says.
She’s since learned that because of the Dependent Coverage provision that she will be able to return to her mother’s quality coverage, “Now I’m even more excited,” she adds.
Nia had been on her mother’s insurance, but was dropped after she graduated from undergrad and got married.
Currently, she has the student health care at her college, and while it covers basics, visits to the clinic often lead to expensive specialist referrals or trips to the emergency room. Both carry steep costs, and so, despite a nagging ankle injury, Nia has stayed away.
“In February, I hurt my ankle and I was going back and forth about it, but I just didn’t know how much it was going to cost me,” she says. “If I have to get an MRI or something, that’s going to be really expensive.”
So the aspiring doctor avoids the doctor, the incongruity of which is not lost on her, “It’s ironic because I’m in med school, but no one’s taking care of me.”
She sees this with her friends too, the ones still in school and the ones freshly graduated.
“It’s hard when you’re first starting out, for people graduating from college or getting a job. I even looked at getting my own insurance, and it’s like $200 - $300 a month.” Along with rent and other bills and student loans, she finds that she and her peers often let things go unchecked, worrying about the expenses.
With the dependent coverage provision however, she thinks things are looking up, not just for her, not just for her fellow students, but for Americans everywhere.
For herself, she says, “I think that I won’t be scared to go to the doctor anymore. I think it will cover a lot of preventive things that I should have had taken care of a long time ago.”
But more broadly, she’s glad that when she begins to practice as a pediatrician in 2014, she’ll be doing so in a country that covers its citizens.
“Most people go into medicine because they want to help people and you can’t help people who can’t come into the office because they can’t afford it.. This helps more people because it allows doctors to see them, and then we get to help those people.”
This story brought to you by Young Invincibles and the Getting Covered Campaign.
With a son about to graduate college, Paul R., the aquatics director at Dickinson College, a liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was following healthcare reform closely, particularly the Dependent Coverage provision. He even had a New York Times alert set up to let him know when the bill was signed into law.
Nia, a med student at Howard University, thinks health care is a right not a privilege and therefore, was already very happy that reform was signed into law. “I was actually really excited for other people because I didn’t think it was going to apply to me,” she says. She’s since learned that because of the Dependent Coverage provision that she will be able to return to her mother’s quality coverage, “Now I’m even more excited,” she adds.
Dr. Kathryn Ellerbeck, a pediatrician at the University of Kansas, heralds the dependent care coverage provision for two very important reasons: her daughters Alexandra and Ali. In the case of her youngest daughter, Ali, who was born 19 years ago with a congenital heart defect, it is a tremendous relief for Kathryn to know that she can extend coverage for her daughter whose condition requires regular maintenance and occasional major surgeries.
Meghan H. watched as her little brother bounced from one Missouri walk-in clinic to another, seeking treatment for allergies that seemed to be worsening, causing recurring sinus infections and headaches. The problems only grew worse, ultimately threatening his life. Yet, Megan knows it would have been different if he could have gotten insurance.
Keesha expected some discomfort when she visited the dentist, but once her cleaning and exam were over, she got even more than she bargained for. Unbeknownst to her, and her father, she had been dropped from his insurance coverage. It wasn’t the first time that the 25-year-old American University political science grad student had been dropped from coverage.
Catherine M. received her B.A from Drexel University in 2009, majoring in International Area Studies, with a focus on justice and human rights. This fall, she expects to take that degree and apply for a job making espresso-based drinks at a coffee-shop chain. Like many young people, the need for a job with health insurance limits her employment options.