I am a sophomore at Hunter College studying media. I’m planning on working in the design field in the future like with UX/UI design. My aunt hurt her back during covid. It was right after she canceled her healthcare insurance, because she couldn’t afford to keep paying for it. She couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket to go to the doctor, so she just stayed at home and did home remedies to help her back. I have insurance covered though my parents’ family plan. I am concerned about losing insurance when I age out of my family’s plan.
During covid, my mom was switching jobs and lost the insurance for the family. We had to be extra cautious not to get sick or hurt, because then we would have to pay out of pocket even for a yearly check up. By having a more equitable health care system and universal health care, everyone can have access to the most basic human care, like a yearly check up or even going to see a dentist. By having those available, people can be more protected and more healthy.
I’m from Long Island, New York. I was always set on going to Cortland ever since I was a kid so I was very happy when I found out that I had been accepted. I wanted to go to SUNY Cortland for as long as I could remember because growing up my mom’s good friend that went to SUNY Oneonta told me that Cortland was a good state school to go to for exercise science. I’ve always wanted to major and get my degree in exercise science and this seemed like the best place for me to do it.
Besides school, I often worry about my health insurance and coverage. Growing up I always remember my mother struggling with healthcare for her and I. I am still currently under my mom’s health insurance however, it doesn’t do much for us because it honestly isn’t that great and it adds more stress into our daily lives. There are often times that I don’t even have health insurance since my parents are in and out of jobs and had to wait to be able to get coverage until they were employed. It made our lives very difficult, and still does. I’m 22 years old so I am becoming very concerned when I turn 26 and need to get off my mom’s health insurance. Although I do not personally handle my own medical bills right now, I often feel the stress of my mom and try to help her out as much as I can since I know she struggles.
I believe that health care should be free as it is in most European countries. I think it is extremely unfair that some people get worse health insurance than others just because they don’t have a job that’s as good, or a job at all. In fact, health insurance should be better for those that are unemployed living at a disadvantage due to the fact that it is proven that people living at a disadvantage encounter more health issues. I think that health insurance needs to be reconsidered.
I live in Staten Island, New York. I wasn’t always set on going to Cortland to be honest. I grew up going to private Catholic schools, so I always expected to go to a smaller school for college as well. But as it turns out, I ended up at Cortland and I couldn’t be more grateful! I am graduating from SUNY Cortland this semester, however I do intend to go to grad school hopefully in the fall.
Although I am constantly stressed out about school, I also often stress about my insurance and health care coverage. Growing up I always remember my parents struggling with healthcare for my sister and I. I am still currently under my dad’s health insurance, however it doesn’t do much for me due to the fact that it isn’t too great and it adds more stress into my parent’s daily lives. Even after using our insurance at doctor’s visits, my parents still have to pay a costly amount which makes our lives very difficult. I often try to help them while I can since my sister is not yet old enough to work, but it is often very hard since when I am away at school I don’t have a job. I’m 22 years old so I am becoming very concerned when I turn 26 and need to get off my father’s health insurance. Even though I don’t take care of my medical bills right now I see the stress my parents and family get from it.
I believe that health care should be free for everyone. It is not fair in any way that the people who don’t have as good a job have worse health insurance than those that do. In fact, it should be the other way around because those that do have good jobs have a higher chance to afford medical bills than those that do not. People often do not realize the stress that healthcare and insurance constantly are put on to a family.
My name is Marlyn Saona, and I am a student at BMCC. My major is business management and this is my last semester at BMCC. Once I graduate, I plan on transferring to a four-year college to get my Bachelor’s Degree.
For healthcare, I rely on my mother’s health insurance. For the most part it is fine, except when I needed braces my mom’s healthcare was not adequate. I needed braces in order to present myself to the world professionally. However, braces are very expensive and my mom’s insurance did not cover them. My mom and I kept going to many different orthodontists to see if we could get them for free, but they said that we didn’t qualify for free braces and that we had to pay for them. It ended up costing around $3,000 in total and my mom had to pay out of pocket. My parents paid little by little each month but it was stressful to pay for them on top of other bills my family already had.
I also wanted to share my cousin’s experience with healthcare in NYS. When my cousin first came to the United States two years ago he was 21 years old. He wanted to get a physical but he did not have health insurance. He had no other option but to pay full price for his doctor’s visit and it was very expensive. Since then, my cousin hasn’t been able to go to the doctor because of how expensive it is. He doesn’t get check-ups because he is afraid of the bill. Healthcare should not be so expensive that people are avoiding necessary doctor visits just because of the high costs.
Aging out of my mom’s health care worries me because I want to continue going to the doctor but it is too much money. Hopefully by that time I will be able to afford insurance, but I should be able to get it whether or not I have a job because health care should be a human right.
I think everyone should get healthcare because you can get sick out of nowhere and you should go to the doctor without having to pay exorbitant costs for it. In NY a lot of incidents happen out of nowhere. Students especially should have guaranteed healthcare because they are supposed to be focusing on school, not whether or not they can pay their healthcare bills. Everyone should have the same healthcare options no matter what their income is.
I’m a junior at Hunter College majoring in Political Science with a minor in Women and Gender Studies and a minoring in Legal Studies. After graduating college, I plan to attend law school to get my J.D. and become a licensed legal attorney.
There have been a couple of times where my loved ones needed better health care but weren’t able to get it. During my senior year of high school, my father got very sick and was diagnosed with a disease that affected his kidneys, and his body broke down proteins. It was a sporadic disease that not much of the population dealt with, so it took a while to figure out what was happening to him and why. He grew weak, lost and gained extreme weight, and had to fight through unemployment for medical reasons. He mostly got his healthcare through his job. He needed to get more help medically, and it was scary that at this time, in the early phases of his illness, he couldn’t go to the doctor and get the help he needed earlier when his life was at risk. He also had trouble getting the medicine he needed to treat and maintain his illness after being diagnosed. The insurance he got at his new job didn’t completely cover the medicine or his treatments, so he’d have to cover the rest out of pocket. It has always been an issue for my father to get full healthcare coverage and find good health insurance that would help him.
I do have health insurance, and I’m covered mostly through my mom from Medicare. I have HealthFirst, as do my sisters. Aging out of my mom’s health insurance plan is scary, and I’m not looking forward to making that huge transition. I am not struggling with the high cost of medical bills or medical debt, but I know my father is dealing with medical debt from the previous situation. Not having a job or not working while incapable of doing so due to medical reasons was very difficult, and my father had to take out loans to pay for rent and cover medical bills. It was a tough time, but my father is significantly better now and has the medicine to treat his illness.
My name is Jessica Ezem. I am a Theater major with Concentration in Performance and Minor in Black Studies. I am a Junior at SUNY New Paltz. I have an idea of what I want to do after I graduate college but I have no concrete plan. My family and I have never encountered the issue of not receiving healthcare when needed. I have health insurance covered by Medicaid under my parents. I fear I’ll lose coverage from aging out of my parents plan. I know sooner or later I will have to apply and have my own plan. My family does not struggle with medical bills, but I do have people close to me that do because of their insurance coverage. We need a more equitable health care system; everyone should have access to resources to take care of themselves and their health. The determined factor of life and death shouldn’t be based on the amount of money a person makes. Someone shouldn’t have to decide between paying bills for their health or paying their rent bill. Universal healthcare is a great idea; it ensures healthcare for all.
My name is Aryssa Hernandez. I am studying Psychology with a concentration in Biology. I am a Junior at SUNY New Paltz. I plan on obtaining a master In Psychological Counseling after college. There was a time my grandma needed healthcare and wasn’t able to get it. My grandma was unable to get healthcare due to her residence status. She had to pay out of pocket for her bills which was a hardship on the family. I have health insurance through my parents’ jobs.
I am also concerned about losing my health benefits due to aging out of my parents plan, because my parents will no longer be able to keep me on their plan once I turn 26. 26 seems far but it is around the corner. My parents have never lost a job that provided us insurance, but I see them put up with a job they hate in order to keep their health insurance. My family has not experienced COVID medical bills or long term symptoms, but as someone who used to work in the emergency, this was very common. Health isn’t a privilege, it is a right. Many are stuck in a toxic work place just to make sure that their families have health insurance and this takes a mental toll. Additionally, it causes the pile up of medical bills which can cause detrimental effects on a family. Universal healthcare is a good idea because it would act an equity as health is a right and access to healthcare is also a right.
I’m a first year student studying film at Pratt Institute. After school, I’m going to become a director and open my own production company. I have needed healthcare and haven’t been able to get it. Very recently, the plan I was on changed from covering my prescriptions and pharmaceuticals to a different setup. The new plan covers me and my parents, but not my prescriptions, and I need my prescriptions to be able to function. Going into the pharmacy, standing in line, and getting told that I couldn’t get my prescription- not even getting a call from my insurance plan to tell me what’s happening with my plan, not even a heads up- was a lot. I was told that it changed because my dad had retired, but I don’t stay in touch with my dad, so I wouldn’t have known.
I have government insurance, and it used to allow me to go anywhere in the country and get covered when my dad was on active duty. Now, because he’s retired, I can only go to certain military bases or hospitals to get covered. I’m very concerned about losing benefits due to aging out of my parent’s plan. With my current insurance, I have it as long as I’m in school until I’m 25, but if one day my dad decides to take me off his plan, he could. So every time I go into the pharmacy, I have to wonder “Am I going to have healthcare today?” Or I have to call my main practitioner and ask, “Am I still enrolled with you?” It’s really intense.
I believe that it’s important to have a more equitable healthcare system in New York because healthcare is a right. People deserve to have access to hospitals and to other things that they need, and they shouldn’t have to be struggling to pay bills or worrying about if they can eat or get their medication. That’s not fair. People deserve to be treated, even if they’re just scared they might be sick and want to go in for a checkup. There’s no price you can put on somebody’s health. That’s why universal healthcare is important- because at the end of the day, when it’s profit versus health, there shouldn’t even be a competition. It should be health every time, a public good every time.
My name is Jennifer Chuqui and I am a freshman at Queens College, CUNY. I am majoring in Psychology and I’m interested in going into either forensic or clinical psychology after college. I was originally drawn to psychology because I see a therapist and I know how impactful it is to have support and guidance from a professional in the field. Mental health is an important part of healthcare that is often overlooked. Many people avoid going to life saving treatments, such as therapy, due to the hefty copays and lack of in-network providers.
Personally, I can relate to the financial stressors brought on by seeking essential health services. A few years ago, I went to a routine dental cleaning. At the check up, my doctor discovered that I had an infection and needed a root canal. My dentist couldn’t provide this service himself, so he recommended another in-network doctor. Upon contacting the other dentist, his office said that the procedure would cost an additional $600, even though it was covered by health insurance. They were wrongfully trying to take money from my parents. At this point, I was worried about the financial burden that this would place on my family. My parents are separated, so they both planned on paying half, but it would still be a huge expense for us. Luckily, in the end I was able to receive the procedure with no additional cost. Doctors should not have to spend their time parsing through complicated insurance plans. There should also be less convoluted language in insurance plans so that it is harder for doctors to overcharge their patients. Instead, doctor’s offices need a simple, universal plan so that they have stricter guidelines and have more time to focus on administering life saving and highly important treatments.
Outside of my root canal experience, I have concerns about paying for health insurance in the future. I currently have medicaid. While it is covering my health treatments for the time being, I worry about aging out of the system. If I do not meet the income requirements, I could lose my health insurance, while still not being able to afford treatments.
The New York Health Act would create a more equitable healthcare system. Currently, one’s financial resources determine access to care. Even if one is able to access care, there can still be financial stressors related to healthcare, such as with my root canal. With the New York Health Act, everyone would be able to have the right to healthcare, while paying much less for treatment.