By Edward Vargas, Field Organizer for Enroll America
Growing up in a family where many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins did not have health insurance—and were one hospital visit shy of possibly becoming bankrupt—motivates me to help those in the same situation.
As a kid, I was fortunate to grow up with health coverage, but I did not understand that not everyone had coverage. I once asked my hard-working uncle why he did not go to the doctor when he injured his back while working the fields of South Texas. You can imagine my amazement as he replied with, “we are not all lucky enough to have insurance.”
To this day, I carry that comment with me every time I come across a community member that is uninsured. That experience is the reason why I work diligently to educate and inform folks about their health coverage option—because I have always believed that your access to health coverage should not depend on whether or not you are lucky enough to have it, but that coverage is a right for every American.
On November 15th, the second enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace opened, and San Antonians will once again have the opportunity to sign up for affordable healthcare coverage through February 15th. During the first open enrollment period in San Antonio, over 76,000 uninsured community members were able to receive health coverage, thus ensuring peace of mind for themselves and their families in regards to their healthcare needs. An estimated 140,000 members are still not covered that would be eligible for ACA coverage—and, once again, the EnrollSA, Get Bexar Covered coalition of over 60 organizations are spreading the word to prepare the community for the upcoming enrollment period.
I respectfully ask that if you are uninsured that you look into your healthcare options on the Marketplace; and if you are covered reach out to your friends and family that are need of this valuable information and urge them to look into signing up for health coverage. The days when people were afraid to visit the doctor because they couldn’t afford it are over. The days when people were denied health coverage due to pre-existing conditions are over. The days when people did not have coverage because their employer did not provide any are over. Through the ACA, affordable options are available and no one should feel like they have to go without healthcare coverage.
Please visit www.enrollsa.com or call 2-1-1 for more information or to set up an appointment to explore your options.