#GetCovered: 'I’m Into Living and Having Health Insurance Will Help Me Do That'

#GetCovered: 'I’m Into Living and Having Health Insurance Will Help Me Do That'

ATL resident talks about the importance of affordable health care.

Published December 9, 2014

Atlanta is a great city to live in -- it’s definitely the “up and poppin” area to be in for the entertainment industry. We’ve got Tyler Perry studios, we’ve got Turner, we’ve got CNN, and there are Bravo shows too - there’s always a red carpet or other celebrity event.

So I was excited when I had the chance earlier this year to change careers and go to a public relations firm. But I had to think first about the fact that the PR job didn’t come with health insurance benefits.

Fortunately, the Health Insurance Marketplace made it possible for me to get affordable health insurance and join the PR agency. I selected a plan that costs $80 a month, with a tax credit, through the Marketplace, which is affordable for me.

Without health insurance, I would have been vulnerable to getting sick and not being able to take care of myself. I’m into living. I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ve got a lot of dreams and goals to accomplish and having health insurance will definitely help me do that.

And let’s be honest -- I am a young, African-American man and if I’m going to be sexually active I need to protect myself. I get a physical every year, and I go to the doctor to get checked out on National HIV Testing Day.  This is very important because I would not want to endanger myself or anybody else.

When I did not have health insurance, it definitely weighed heavy on my heart because I would constantly think about how if something happened to me, there would be nobody but me to take care of myself.

Open enrollment through the Marketplace began November 15. If you previously signed up for coverage through the Marketplace, you should return to HealthCare.gov to update your application and compare your options to enroll in the plan that best meets your needs for 2015 coverage. You can review the 5 Steps to Staying Covered here.

It’s easy, like signing up for Facebook. If you can Instagram, if you can Tweet, if you can Vine, if you can Pinterest, then you can sign up for health insurance through the Marketplace. It took me maybe all of 10 to 15 minutes.

But if you need assistance, call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), any time, any day.

Having health insurance gives me a sense of pride. I feel like I’m doing my due diligence as a citizen. It made me feel very proud when I got my insurance card.

I’m one of the millions who have signed up for health insurance, and it feels great.

Watch a video of Vaughn tell his story here. 

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(Photo: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services via YouTube.com)

Written by Vaughn Alvarez, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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