Amanda Caillau of Omaha worked as a manager at a restaurant and had health insurance through her employer. But what she really wanted to do was go back to school to pursue her dream of becoming an art teacher. So she did–but in doing so, she lost her insurance.
When she initially lost her coverage, she looked at purchasing private insurance on her own, but it was too expensive for her budget. So instead, she went without. “When I got sick, I would just visit the university health center and hope that it wasn’t too expensive,” Amanda said. But this was still expensive and would not cover her if something more serious ever came up.
Amanda’s friend, who also happens to be a trained application assister, told her about the Affordable Care Act. In February, she decided to log on to HealthCare.gov to see what her options were. The whole process–from application to approval–only took her about an hour. She qualified for a plan that, after tax credits, only had a $13.95/month premium. Her deductible is quite low as well.
Amanda went to the doctor for the first time with her new insurance just last week. “It was such a relief to be able to go in and leave without a $200 bill,” she said. And, after visiting her gynecologist, she was thrilled to discover her birth control would now be covered for free as well.
To those who need insurance and have not yet signed up, Amanda encourages them to look into their options in the Marketplace. “It’s so much easier than you would think. I can’t express how easy it was for me.”
Additionally, she stresses that in-person assisters are available to answer your questions–you don’t have to do it alone. These are people who are experienced with the law and can help you understand what it means for you. She says talking to her friend before enrolling was a great resource.
In-person assistance is available through Community Action Agencies or Federally Qualified Health Centers. You can find a location near you by visiting the following links: