When the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2014, the six million Americans who had already signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act had more to celebrate than just the start of a new year.
Nathan A., a brain cancer survivor from Salem, VA, says that his new health care plan "has freed me from a weight, a chain, a prison of costs that were astronomical." Auldrige’s monthly premium has been cut by over 75%, which is a huge relief on his community service worker’s salary.
For Eleta P. in St. Paul, MN, January 1st brought peace of mind. After applying for insurance through Minnesota’s health care exchange, Eleta discovered that she and her children are eligible for Medicaid. This mom says her new insurance is “a big deal” because “it helps ease your mind when you know that that part of your life is covered.”
Peace of mind has also come to Bo F. of Melbourne, FL, who couldn’t get coverage previously because of his pre-existing conditions. When he was uninsured, Frazer said he was “always worried about losing my house,” due to an unexpected health care crisis. But now Frazer and his wife have affordable coverage.
But Obamacare is about so much more than planning for the worst. Because health care plans now include no-copay preventive care, people like Ana Y. from Kearny, NJ are getting their first mammograms and doctors like Sam W. at the University of North Carolina are making sure that patients have access to the preventive care they need — from colonoscopies to flu shots — to stay healthy.
From knowing that they’ll have coverage for afford care if the worst happens to being able to prevent illness in the first place, Obamacare has changed millions of lives in the past week. Maybe Champaign, IL’s Adam P., whose insurance card arrived just over a week ago, put it best when he said that "I have been walking a tightrope and have had some twists and falls off of it. To not have to worry about this anymore is a tremendous relief.”
Here's to a happy and healthy new year for all Americans.
Want to read more about the millions of Americans whose coverage started on January 1st? Don’t miss more stories from North Carolina, Kentucky, and more.