#CoverageMatters: Being Insured Helps Me Fly

December 9, 2016

This post originally appeared on HHS.gov.

When you’re riding a BMX bike, it feels like you’re on a roller coaster. But instead of being stuck on a track, you’re free to go wherever you want.

I’ve been really fortunate to get paid to ride. It started out as a hobby when I was younger, and I loved doing it more than anything else. I’m 26, I’m still riding and I’m able to make a living off of it. But the job doesn’t provide health insurance, and you can imagine how important coverage is to a BMXer doing the type of riding that I do.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I was able to stay on my parents’ plan until I turned 26. I stressed out a little bit about signing up on HealthCare.gov, because I had heard some bad things from critics. But my girlfriend, who had enrolled last year, was like, “just do it; it takes like 15 minutes.” And she was right. It was extremely easy to shop and sign up for a Health Insurance Marketplace plan.

When you’re in your 20s, you feel almost invincible. Your body feels good and you’re healthy, but you can get hurt at anytime, anyplace. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who couldn’t afford coverage before the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for business, and when they got injured, they went into debt for thousands of dollars.

Some of my friends refused to get care because of the cost. When you get hurt, the last thing you should be thinking about is how much it’s going to cost; you should just be focused on getting checked out and taking the steps to recover.

I was blown away by how affordable the Marketplace plan is. I pay only $32 a month after the tax credit and have a $500 deductible. Because of the Affordable Care Act, most Marketplace customers can qualify for a plan that costs $75 or less a month after financial assistance.

So if you’re in a similar situation, and you’re figuring out your own insurance for the first time in your life, I absolutely think you should check out the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov.

It’s important for me to keep my coverage, because I don’t want to go into huge debt if I get hurt or sick. I want to keep doing what I do as long as I can. I was blown away with how affordable the whole process has made it and, yeah, it was a huge weight off my shoulders.

You can now enroll in your own coverage for 2017. Marketplace Open Enrollment goes until January 31, 2017, but if you want your coverage to start on January 1, 2017, you have to sign up by December 15.

Check out your options for affordable, quality coverage at HealthCare.gov. Financial assistance may be available to help you get covered. And you can get 24/7 help comparing plans and enrolling in coverage by calling 1-800-318-2596 or finding in-person assistance in your community at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov.

I’m sharing my story because my #CoverageMatters, just as it does for millions of other Americans. Every story is unique. Share your story on social media using #CoverageMatters.

I love riding my bike so much that I don’t think I could ever stop. But I know it’s not smart to ride without health insurance. So before you get on the bike, make sure you get covered.

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