Posts Tagged ‘under-insured’
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.
I attended college out of state (primary residence was California, but went to college in New York), thanks largely to the scholarships I received from a private college. While in college, I was on my mother’s health insurance plan she had through her job. Despite her working for a municipal government and in a unionized role, we still could not afford more than the lowest cost plan. And while I was in high school, it was great for local care especially because I do not have major health concerns.
But when I went to New York for college, I quickly learned that the health insurance plan I thought worked for me, only worked because of where I was located. While in college, I did not have access to a primary care doctor or preventative healthcare. During the fall semester of my junior year, I woke up one morning and my shoulder was stiff and sore: it even hurt to put on my jacket or backpack. Several days went by and one night I suddenly got very dizzy and my whole arm went numb. With both sides of my family having heart conditions, I knew this wasn’t the time to worry about coverage: I needed to go to the emergency room. We called our campus’ Public Safety and they drove us to the emergency room that was only a few blocks away from campus.
When I checked in, they of course asked for insurance. So I handed them my one and only insurance card. In California this was all I had ever needed. But the staff working asked where my second card was, she was only familiar with New York health insurances.
Shortly after I was seen, I explained to the ER nurse what I had been experiencing the last few days and the reason I came in today–family history. I was hooked up to a heart monitor, a nurse pricked my finger to check my blood sugar levels and I was taken in for an x-ray. Thankfully I was not seriously ill: only a pinched nerve. I was asked if I wanted a prescription for a higher dosage of ibuprofen than what I could get over the counter. I declined, I was back to worrying about the cost. I went home and did my best to rest, well the best that a full time college student could rest.
Two weeks later my mother called me. She asked why I hadn’t given the hospital my insurance– She had just received a bill for the full cost of my hospital visit. After calling our insurance company, they informed us it was not “medically necessary” for me to go to the emergency room. Of course they didn’t take into account that at midnight the only health care open was the emergency rooms, and I would not have known it wasn’t medically necessary unless I went to the emergency room. After months of fighting both our insurance provider and the local hospital, we managed to get our bill down to the $500 maximum for emergency visits.
My first job after college was environmental justice based community organizing in the San Francisco Bay Area. My first question was not how much I would make, room for growth, or company policy–It was healthcare coverage. The cheapest plan available to me was $300 a month. I was expected to spend ¼ of my monthly income on health insurance “just in case”. With rent, high cost of living, and my six month grace period on my student loans coming up, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford health insurance through my employer. And the Department of Education would not take “sorry I need health insurance” as a valid reason to not pay back my loans. I have never in my life felt so fortunate to be a healthy adult with no chronic health conditions.
I have personally seen how flawed both the healthcare provided is and the health insurance industry. We need a healthcare system that is easy to understand and works for all people. When individuals are seeking healthcare whether that be preventative, treatment for long or short term conditions, or emergency care they should be able to focus on their health and wellbeing not just what they are able to afford before going broke.
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.