With just days left until the January 31 deadline for 2017 coverage, you’ve been sharing your own story of how coverage matters to you and your family.
We’ve talked with Marylanders who need coverage because of life-threatening illnesses or to access important preventive care, many who are saving money with the help of financial assistance like tax credits, and others who value the peace of mind of protecting their loved ones from the unexpected.
Patricia K. of Glen Burnie credits the ACA with saving her life after she was left uninsured with urgent health needs.
Patricia said an unexpected divorce left her single and without health coverage. “I had already foregone the insulin pump I'd been using, as a result of losing my health insurance through the divorce. I was in need of insulin, syringes, glucose test strips, kidney medication, and other medicines being prescribed by my doctor.
“If it were not for Obamacare, I don't know how I would've survived. I mean that literally, because I am profoundly aware that Obamacare saved my life. I am forever grateful.”
Rachel and Godefrolde from Montgomery County got coverage for their family of eight.
Rachel and Godefrolde moved to the United States from the Congo. Recently, they were able to bring their older children to the U.S. as well. Rachel and Godefrolde got coverage for themselves and their six children. They’re very pleased to have coverage for their whole family.
John W. of Baltimore County is saving money on his monthly insurance costs.
John W. enrolled in a private plan with HealthCare Access Maryland navigator Paris after losing job coverage earlier this year. John credits Paris with helping him understand plan choices, and he's “ecstatic” about the one he chose.
Now he qualifies for a tax credit to lower his monthly cost. He said, “You can’t afford not to have health insurance. You never know when something catastrophic will happen.”
Bruce K. of Takoma Park and his wife are self-employed and able to provide their family quality coverage.
Bruce and his wife are both self-employed and were able to get coverage for their family even with pre-existing conditions.
“With the Affordable Care Act, we -- and our daughters, who are under age 26 -- have quality, comprehensive coverage and are not at risk of bankruptcy should a serious illness or injury strike.”
Alicia H. from Montgomery County is saving money on her coverage.
Alicia was previously paying more than $800 for health insurance for herself and her son. She applied through Maryland Health Connection and enrolled her family in a Qualified Health Plan. She was able to save more than $350 each month with tax credits.
Lisa K. of Earleville is saving $400/month on her health coverage.
Lisa worked with navigator Linda at one of Seedco’s Elkton locations to sign up for a 2017 health plan. Lisa, 53, got much-needed assistance with reporting her income in the application, as it changes and is sometimes hard to predict. She qualifies for a tax credit of about $400/month to help offset the cost of her health plan.
“I’ve learned to value that I have health coverage now,” she said, after working in the service industry and a daycare where others who aren’t insured get sick. “I think everybody should have access to affordable coverage.”
Janis N. of Washington Grove said coverage helps her stay healthy after surviving cancer and losing her job.
“As a cancer survivor, it was very important for me to remain insured,” said Janis, who enrolled in a plan through the marketplace. “I felt I knew exactly what the costs would be and what was covered. I felt secure in being able to get insurance while having a preexisting condition. It really made a difference in my life.”
Janis said she has since been able to qualify for Medicaid coverage and was able to keep seeing her specialists to make sure her health conditions don't worsen. “I am very grateful of this safety net,” she said.
David D. of Baltimore said access to affordable coverage allowed him to start his own business at age 57.
David said he has “never been happier” since starting his own consulting practice. One of the reasons he was able to do so was knowing he could get health insurance, even with several pre-existing conditions, he said.
“Without having insurance available through the exchange, it would have been out of reach.”
About Maryland Health Connection
Maryland Health Connection is Maryland’s official health insurance marketplace for individuals and families to compare plans and enroll in health and dental coverage. It’s the only place to get financial help with health insurance. See if you qualify for financial help like tax credits or Medicaid/MCHP to make health insurance more affordable.