I am a junior at Pratt Institute with a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology. After college, I hope to pursue a job in creative writing.
My family and I qualify for Medicaid although we’ve had to switch to metro-plus because Medicaid wasn’t as accessible for our needs. Due to the limitations under Medicaid, I really struggled with being able to access certain doctors and therapy because a lot of therapists didn’t take my insurance. It took me months to find the care I needed. In one instance this caused me to go into debt, because I went into a therapy office thinking that they covered me. However, days after the session they informed me that it was not fully covered by my insurance and gave me a bill that I couldn’t pay off for months. I’ve also noticed the more advanced therapy treatments I need like EMDR are inaccessible to me because it is only for people who have the funds to pay out of pocket. My family and I also struggled with getting our prescriptions filled under Medicaid as many pharmacies, for example Walgreens didn’t accept our insurance.
I think we shouldn’t have to be upper class or rich to have good care. Lower-income individuals are always at the short end of the stick when it comes to these things. Therapists don’t take insurance because the health care system doesn’t pay them enough. In return this causes therapists to overcharge and only cater to upper-class people which leaves us with nothing. This is not fair to those who have chronic illnesses who cant afford to pay for treatment. It’s ridiculous we have to pay to get the help we need to live.
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.
My name is Jodi Lewis and I am a junior at Hunter College student with a major in English Literature, minoring in Human Rights. After graduation I plan on attending graduate school in order to attain my dual degree Masters in Public Administration and Health Administration. There was never a time that I can remember that a family member was denied healthcare, however I am currently without health care because I am not a citizen of the United States nor am I a green card holder. As a result I am currently on Obama Care where I receive healthcare and medication at a reduced cost, which I have to renew each year because of my status. I am concerned that there may be a time that this benefit will no longer exist and I will have to pay for health care which is expensive. As a student who pays out of pocket and out of state tuition, which includes paying for my own books and transportation, I think it is important for healthcare to be easily accessible to those who experience financial hardship especially students like me. Health is a priority and a human right to everyone regardless of their status. The cost of living in New York is very high, and the last thing that I want to think about is not being able to see a doctor because I don’t have insurance. Having to factor in paying for rent, food along with school expenses, sometimes I feel stressed.
It is my second year at BMCC and my major is business management. My goal is to finish my associates degree and pursue a career in real estate. I am doing business because I find the classes interesting. My plan is to eventually start my own real estate business.
I am thankful that my parents have quality health insurance and I am able to be covered under their insurance plan. However, my cousin is not so lucky and I would like to talk about his experience with the healthcare system in New York.
My cousin is 19 and has health insurance under his parents plan but his parent’s plan does not cover many health care costs. While playing football my cousin dislocated his shoulder and his health insurance didn’t cover the costs of medical exams so he had to pay $2,000 out of pocket. His insurance also does not cover the full cost of medicines that he needs. For example, when a medicine costs $180, he has to pay $100 and his insurance only covers $80, less than half of the cost.
He often cannot count on his health insurance when accidents happen. One time at work my cousin got in an accident and got a piece of metal in his eye, and his insurance does not cover eye doctors, so he had to pay $200 out of pocket for the exam.
Next year, after I graduate from BMCC I will move out of my parents house and get a job. I will look for my own health insurance coverage then. I believe that universal health care is a good idea because it will help out a lot of low-income people who don’t get paid well at their jobs. It will help people pay for other expenses such as rent, groceries, and paying for their children’s school supplies instead of worrying about the high costs of healthcare. The current price of some medicines is ridiculous. For example, eye drops can cost $300 if insurance doesn’t cover them and this makes basic healthcare needs inaccessible to all. This needs to be changed by passing universal healthcare in NYS.
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.
My name is Isabellah Paul and I attend CUNY Hunter. I live in a household with a single mother of four and complications regarding my mother’s health insurance has made things difficult for my family and I to receive basic services. My mother works as a government employee and so she is granted health insurance by the state. While we are listed under her insurance, there are often instances when I receive services and get a bill sent to me in the mail for any extraneous expenses expected to be covered covered by my mother’s insurance, but not. These bills often can go as high as $400, money that I did not expect to pay out of my pocket.
As a full time college student funding most of my monetary expenses independently, it can be difficult paying bills for routine services such as a checkup, physical exam, or even receiving shots or a COVID test. Being under my mother’s insurance would prompt one to think that most expenses would be covered other than the copay. However these laboratory bills, of which my mother never receives when she goes to the doctor or urgent care, pose as a major fiscal inconvenience and burden to me, as a student.
Advocating for better healthcare and promoting more accessibility for basic services proves an important step in reforming public health. Health insurance drastically impacts the ability of individuals to receive affordable treatment, and extraneous bills and payments make it difficult for people to fund such services. The public health sector has a significant impact on individual’s ability to carry out their daily lives. Improving healthcare would have a significant effect on its accessibility and affordability, thus aiding more of the population.
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 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.