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How I finally got health coverage that fits my needs

My story starts while I was still covered by my mom's health insurance plan. Even though my mom was paying hundreds of dollars a month for the coverage, I still couldn’t afford the co-pays to go to the doctor. By 2008, I was no longer able to stay on my mom's plan, and I couldn't afford my own, so I went without any health insurance at all.

The next year, I was also in a terrible car accident. When it happened, I had to choose between taking an ambulance and staying overnight in the hospital or staying with my totaled car on the side of the road in a snowstorm. I chose the hospital. That bill cost me $5,000—money that I didn’t have. It was incredibly stressful, making a bad situation even worse.

When I started nursing school this fall, I needed to have health coverage. Two of the obvious options—joining my husband's insurance or my nursing school’s plan—were both more than I paid for rent. While there were other options, finding a plan I could afford took days of research—and it still didn't cover my basic needs. The irony of working in the health care field and not being able to afford health care was pretty intense.

So when I heard about Obamacare, I was excited. I'll admit, it took me a little while—and a couple of conversations with others who told me about the good experiences people were having—but I finally went online to see what I could find and was pleased with the results.

Now I finally feel like I can go to the doctor. The new rules for basic coverage mean that I have everything I need. And I finally have dental insurance! That was an amazing and inexpensive surprise. For $15 a month, I can go to the dentist for the first time in five years.

I am beyond thrilled that women's health care and preventive care are all covered now. It feels like a personal triumph and makes me proud of my country. Now that I'm covered, I can safely and affordably plan to have a baby in the next year or so.

After working in hospitals and seeing the price of hospital stays, tests, and all that comes with being treated, I am extremely grateful to have better coverage that protects me. Accidents happen to everyone. Check your options and find coverage that fits your life.
Check your options
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