Listen friends, if you weren’t aware, health insurance is a real cute luxury. I found that out real quick while in college, especially during my last semester. In North Carolina (and probably most other states) you have to have health insurance in order to enroll in college. Either you submit proof of outside insurance or you are forcibly signed up for the schools insurance plan. After a series of unfortunate events, I gladly accepted the later and paid student health a monthly visit to pick up my Aderall prescription. ECU’s student health was clutch. I got a great price on all my prescriptions at the student pharmacy, plus preventative care was free. It especially came in handy when I quite randomly acquired Mono during Fall 2013 and felt like I was on the edge of death right as classes began.
I come from a generally middle class family and i’ve wanted to be in the health care field since i was 4, so to me health insurance was just something that you always had. Oh, but no. ECU kindly snatched their insurance coverage from me this Spring once I became a “distance education” student, as i completed my public health internship full time off campus. So I found myself a 21 year old with ADHD, prescription glasses, and other health care needs with no one to help me pay for it. Now, I’m a generally health person, but I do have my basic prescriptions and I like to go in for my standard doctor visits at least once a year. I was kind of horrified when I realized this wasn’t going to be the case. I was even more horrified when one of my wisdom teeth became inflamed and I couldn’t go to the dentist. My mom couldn’t put me on her plan because her monthly premium would increase exponentially. Our Governor, Mr. Patrick McCrory, refused to expand Medicare in North Carolina, so although I would have qualified, it was a no go there. I went to a local health insurance navigator in Greenville to see what my Affordable Care Act (ACA) options were, and I have been stuck on that marry-go-round for the last few months. I took a class about health care policy and insurance, in which we spent an entire unit learning the ends and outs of health care reform. I definitely think the ACA Is a step in the right direction, but unfortunately the bureaucracy involved in applying, the glitches in the system, and my parents combined income made it almost impossible for me to find any affordable options. I’m sure its helping someone, just not me. The entire ordeal has been incredibly overwhelming and I have been on the pursuit of health care for the last 8 months to know avail.
Rewind to last week…its not always what you know, but who you know. An old teacher from high school called me to let me know there were job openings at the organization he worked for. It was one of those situations where this person is willing to vouch for you and hand you something they feel that you are worthy of. I sent over my cover letter, got an interview, and then the job within a week. A full time position with benefits. BENEFITS= HEALTH INSURANCE= TURN UP! So now, I’ve decided to forgo grad school for this semester (which is a story for another day), and work full time as a field organizer doing organizing work around politics and voting rights. Its all very awesome because its new and a big step in the direction of adulthood.
I got a new apartment, a new job, and yes, health insurance. This entire ordeal has taught me that I’m not entitled to anything. Its all luxury. Its all blessings. Providing health care is something that I’ve always been passionate about, and although we all should have a right to health care (and health insurance), unfortunately thats not the case…yet. So for now I have to work hard, I have to plan, I have to back up plan, and even then things may not work out. But when they do be grateful for it. The ability to take care of myself and my health is something thats really important to me, so hopefully I never find myself in this position again…but I’m aware that it could definitely happen and I’ll figure out how to prepare for it just in case. Just another part of being young, gifted, and broke, I guess. Now, I’m going to go finish the list of doctors appointments i need to make.