Disability, General

Thankful for Access to Healthcare

November 25, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: November 25, 2015

boyfriend and girlfriend smiling

Thanksgiving is the time we reflect on what we’re thankful for. As it happens, this is also open enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. Embracing the spirit of both events, I’m thankful for access to quality, affordable healthcare and for my son’s health.

At age 22 and recently out of college, my son became critically ill. Having to undergo major abdominal surgery, fortunately he had health coverage. If he were uncovered, he would not have been able to cover the $10,000 in medical bills on his own. Early on, the State of Maryland adopted legislation that allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26. It’s a blessing our family is still grateful for. Since its passage, the Affordable Care Act made it mandatory for all states to adopt this provision, allowing young people, like my son, to have affordable healthcare.

Healthcare access is important for everyone. Life can change in the blink of an eye. While most people don’t like to think about it, disability can happen to anyone, at any time. In fact, 1-in-4 young people in their 20s will become disabled before reaching retirement age. Another issue that negatively impacts uninsured young adults is unpaid medical debt, which is the largest contributing factor to negative credit reports. Don’t run the risk of accruing significant medical debt and ruining your credit. Through the Affordable Care Act, you now have the ability to get affordable coverage. In fact, 8 out of 10 individuals potentially qualify for financial assistance. So, don’t take the risk of remaining uncovered.

If you are in need of health coverage or know someone who needs health coverage, I encourage you to visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 for more information. Access to quality healthcare has a positive impact on health outcomes. #GetCovered for your sake and your parents’ as well, they will be thankful.

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About the Author

Stacy Rodgers, Chief of Staff, Social Security Administration

Stacy Rodgers, Chief of Staff, Social Security Administration


  1. peter w.

    this is wrong place for politically-focused “thanks’, which should be left for paid advertisement.

  2. Gerard

    I don’t think you can pick the cheapest insurance and expect them to pay for everything, you need to get the best you can afford and not the cheapest. Not many people can afford to pay 20% of a doctors bill especially a working man or woman. An HMO is what I have and I am not happy with a lot of their services but can live with what it costs. Some HMO do profit though from not diagnosing minor ailments for some patients but are there for you in a life or death situations. Jerry

    • January

      “Here’s Joy&nh…,ern#8230;, Harley!!!”You have one hand over an eye, driving the crazy train to Harley’s house.Jesus…You two fuckers are batshitnuts.Honestly, the both of you express yourselves exactly the same.You and Harley’s pathetic, predictable, peurile, provincial, panderings, relating to this subject, are an embarassment to both KU and MU, if in fact you two cretins actually attended college at all.In my opinion, you two mental doppelgangers should just get it over with and fuck.

  3. Jerry C.

    It doesn’t appear the American people are very thankful for the trash we can buy that is called insurance. The USA has become a very sorry place to live.

  4. L C.

    Affordable??? No!!! After paying the deductibles, the copays and other bills, whatever Medicare doesn’t pay, I have to pay 20% of on top of whatever else I have paid. The euphemism they use is “co-insurance.” It’s not insurance at all, just a way to enrich greedy hospitals and those who work in them. They pad the bill at every opportunity, too.

  5. Jerry C.

    I am not thankful for the affordable care act. All it has done is cost seniors. You can’t find a decent Advantage Plan. Drugs have gone sky high and becoming unaffordable, I think the affordable care act and the United States criminal congress sucks.



    • John O.

      Yes, and the ACA would not have covered this either.

  7. Michele

    I am glad affordable healthcare worked in your case, and your son as well. I haven’t been so lucky. My husband & I were both recently laid off from our jobs. I did call about healthcare. After divulging social security info and credit card detail, I was denied coverage. I was treated for a tumor less than five years ago. Reason for denial. Although I am fine, and expect no complications from the brain tumor that was removed, thankfully, still denial. I am concerned and scared to continue to look. What happens if I provide all information again, only to be denied again. Makes my husband & I prime targets for identity theft. My husband & I both take multiple prescriptions. The prescriptions are expensive. Without prescription coverage, the cost is substantial. Without jobs, well one can connect the dots.

    • Marc

      If you had to provide credit card information you were NOT on the real Healthcare.gov website. You clicked on the wrong link and went to a phishing site. No ACA website. NONE, require a credit card number.

      • Michele

        I should have been more clear regarding the credit card request. Upon talking to someone via telephone, and agreeing on a plan, credit card information was provided. There was an initial process, then verification. I was denied coverage upon verification process. This was done via phone. Again, I had shared credit card information and social security information, only to learn of denial. I won’t divulge credit card info, until I know insurance has been approved. Unfortunately, my husband & I are still without health insurance. Will I be denied again, because I was treated for a tumor within 5 years? What is done with all of the personal information received? Leaves vulnerability for identity theft. In no way am I saying this will happen, but I must admit it is all very scary to say the least.

        • Marc

          You CANNOT be turned down for HEALTH insurance because of a preexisting condition! That is the cornerstone of the ACA. Life in d u rance and long term care, yes. But it’s now a little confusing as to what you’re problem actually is. You spoke with someone on the phone, I’m assuming it was an insurance broker. They are paid by insurance companies and will steer people towards products that make the highest commission for them regardless of whether or not it’s right for you. The only other people who work with people for health insurance are “navigstors,” their services are free and they are trained by the government on navigating the system to help you 1) see if you qualify for either Medicaid plans (if you’re low income), then 2) check to see if you qualify for a reduction in the premiums (most people fo), then 3) help you find a plan, sho we you how to compare and check to see what’s covered etc, and get you signed up. N I where in this process do you have to produce a credit card. Again, you were not dealing with anything affiliated with the ACA. I’m sorry this happened to you, and it makes me angry that the chiselers out there are getting away with robbing people blind because they know those people will blame Obamacare when the truth is they’ve been SCAMMED and just don’t know it!

  8. blue c.

    I’m not thankful my healthcare premiums have doubled and the deductible has doubled. All the politicians did was put more money into corporations that fund their campaigns. The idea that Obamacare is free is the biggest lie told. Don’t believe me? Explain how your $6000 deductible is “free” healthcare even if govt subsidies fund your premiums. Oh, don’t have a minimum income? You’re dumped into state medicaid.

    • Marc

      Who ever said it was going to be “free?” No one, certainly not Obama. More potshots.

  9. John G.

    Health care coverage is important unless you are on COBRA. You see, if you miss your 8 month window because you are in treatment while on COBRA, you incur a 10% penalty for life! Welcome to Medicare! It should not matter who is paying the premium if the underlying coverage is exactly the same which it is.

  10. jose p.

    I need health Insurance coverage

    • turnip

      I have medical insurance; might as well not. With the high premiums and deductibles the only thing I can use is the Dr. copay office visit. I can not afford to pay for treatment, tests, etc. which I have to do until the deductible is met. Prior to the Affordable Care Act I could at least get treatment and tests with a small copay. The insurance companies are the only ones who benefit from this law! They have squeezed all the blood they can out of this turnip

      • Cindy

        It sounds like your employer is just taking advantage of the ACA to change your health Plan to something that will benefit THEM financially. ACA did not change my benefits at all. I’ve talked to a good many people that the ACA helped…gave them good coverage at an affordable price at a time in their life that they needed it most.

      • Robert I.

        This is absolutely false. My wife had good coverage that went away, which Obama said would not happen. The insurance we could get through the marketplace was completely useless. Thank God we are now both on Medicare. The entire country needs single payer health care.

      • bettyg

        jose, IF you are on medicare, you are eligible for HUMANA PPO insurance which is a COMBO of medicare + humana … NOT 2 plans; 1 plan.

        it’s $43/month for single plan! the extra amount SS pays medicare is around $100 which HUMANA RECEIVES THAT AMOUNT.

        extremely affordable! meds also until you hit the DONUT HOLE!

        late husband and i were paying $1200/month for bcbs; it went up another $500/month; I DROPPED IT PROMPTLY.

        glad i was able to hear about this company; well satisfied.

        having my 1st major surgery next wed. replacing my knee; so i’ll see how well they pay on that one!

        good luck. MAIL ORDER MEDS were a big problem for 1st 4 months; ordered; they wouldn’t come on time; lost, etc.

        finally straightened out; come quickly now!

        bettyg, iowa

    • Ray F.

      Hi Jose ! Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act started on November 1st and it runs through January 31, 2016. Check out HealthCare.gov for quality and affordable health coverage. To start the new year with coverage, individuals must sign up by December 15, 2015.

      • John O.

        Why should he bother to check out anything? It’s mostly crap!

        • Sarah

          There are so many choices I got tired of trying to compare and just went with a well known companies most reasonable priced plan in order to be covered. Will take more time to do more plan research for possible less expensive plan. You change change plans annually if you want to.

    • Dajavu

      For one I can’t believe the SSA is doing Obama Bidding. This story has so many pitfalls. If these people have jobs then they are probably paying at least $800 a month for their ObamaCare which only pays 70% of the $10,000 AFTER they have paid their $12,000 deductible. So if they had no medical bills yet then they are liable for the entire $10,000.

      • Jerry C.

        A question like that tells you how much our public officials are out of reality of what the American public think and feel about what is going on. If they were they wouldn’t ask such a stupid question.

      • Marc

        Since we don’t know what state you’re in, how familiar you are with your state’s ACA website (if your state even participates; if not, then the gouging has nothing to do with Obamacare), it’s hard to determine whether you’re serious or just taking potshots based on what you’ve heard from detractors. The only policies with a deductible that high are the HSAs, which only cover catastrophic coverage. You’re supposed to “ssve” your own money to pay for routine care, doctor visits, and basically everything else. HSAs were the brainchild of former President Bush, started right around the same time as the rhetoric about everyone “taking care of him/herself” began to be bandied about in Congress. Employers loved the idea; it relieved them of the costs of providing health insurance for their employees. I’ve helped literally dozens of friends find really good, solid coverage through the Marketplace, all of them people who complained all last year about how they were getting screwed because of Obamacare, when the truth was they just hadn’t taken the time to actually THINK about what they were doing when they signed up. You are 100% incorrect when you say these policies only cover 70%, have $12000 deductibles and over $800 a month premiums. I imagine you could find one like that, but it’s simply false that this is representative of the average Marketplace health insurance plan. Further, there’s no excuse for anyone to gripe about what’s not covered; it’s ALL on there, categorized and itemized, and you can even compare plans you’re interested in side by side. Many, many plans have ZERO deductible and very low copsys; these have monthly premiums of $438, or as low as $315 if you qualify for the reduction. You’re wrong about that too – if you’re single and make $46,680 (it will be higher this year) or a family and make $127880 or less you DO get the premium reduction. I know you’re wrong because I have my laptop opend to the site now and I’m looking at it. The plan I’m referring to is one of dozens of Kaiser plans; they have some HSA plans, some with deductibles, etc. So much for the argument about “too many choices” and only going for the “big names.” The only problem people are having is their own lack of knowledge or just plain laziness when it comes to doing the (minimal) work it takes to find the plan that works for them. That’s certainly not Obama’s fault, it’s theirs.

        • Jerry C.

          Dumb ass.

      • azure

        SSA doing “Obama’s bidding”? What does that mean? You do know that CONGRESS is in charge of appropriations and drafting legislation, right? Neither is an executive branch function, even if the Chief Exec can submit a budget–Congress has to approve it.

        ACA was mostly written by and for the health insurers. You can thank Prez Obama, the Congress that refused to even CONSIDER including a public optin OR considering adopting one of several ways of providing health care that other nations have used for years that provides better quality health care at a lower price then the US system does or did, and the health insurers.

        Just like you can thank Bush II and that Congress for passing a Medicare “drug” bill that did not authorize Medicare to negotiate drug prices w/the pharmecutical industry–and so making sure that anyone in the US who needs any prescription medication is subsidizing hefty big pharma profits–and making their CEOs and other upper management, their boards and majority stockholders very happy & wealthy.

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