By Jessica Rios, Health and Fitness Partnership Manager for SA2020
Prior to getting married, my husband did not have health insurance, and did not see the importance for it. He’s a healthy, young guy who eats right and watches his waistline, so why would he need it, right?
A few months after we got married, he hurt his back to the point that we thought he may ever be able to stand up straight again.
Immediately after the accident, I rushed him to the hospital. They admitted us, and he got an X-ray and medication. We stayed a total of three hours in the Emergency Room. Since we he had health insurance, we paid about $150 for the visit—however, if he had not had insurance, he would have paid about $1,500.
Looking back at the incident, both my husband and I are so grateful we had insurance to get the help he needed—he has since fully recovered, and we aren’t buried under a pile of hospital bills.
I encourage every person to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace–today is the deadline: March 31, 2014! Why the urgency to enroll in Healthcare? According to MedlinePlus, “people who have health insurance enjoy better health, get more preventive care, have better access to prescription drugs, and are able to pay for basic necessities in life.” Having health insurance is not just for sick people, it’s for people who want to get the most out of their life.
Since 2008, the number of individuals with health insurance has steadily decreased, but the Affordable Care Act has put that on hold. Since the enrollment period began in San Antonio, nearly 38,000 residents in the Bexar Country area have enrolled in health care, and 295,025 people in Texas have enrolled in the Marketplace.
SA2020 has a goal of enrolling 86% of Bexar County residents in health insurance by the year 2020, to help our community increase access to care that will make our whole city stronger and healthier. Our community has one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the nation, so wellbeing and the need for health insurance has become an important topic in San Antonio lately. A collaborative campaign called EnrollSA, Get Bexar Covered was created by organizations such as SA2020, CentroMed, Santa Rosa, Baptist Health, University Hospital Systems, San Antonio Food Bank, Enroll America, SRA International, Cognisante and Communicare, the City of San Antonio, and Bexar County.
Because of the outstanding collaborative work among healthcare organizations in our community, Bexar County has already outperformed its enrollment to population ratio. As we work to get more people covered, we can celebrate the fact that our collaborative work has made San Antonio a national model for getting people enrolled.
Today, Monday, March 31st is the last day to get enrolled! We’ll be out at the Alamodome all day, 8 am – 9 pm, helping people go through the process online and start their applications. There’s also help available today at CentroMed and the Bexar Bibliotech. Please come out if you haven’t enrolled yet, or pass the word along to those who need help. For more information on local enrollment help, visit EnrollSA.com. Today is the day!
Do not dismiss the importance of health insurance in you or your family’s life. You may not need it as this very moment, but in a single instant, having it could save your life and your finances.