Tomorrow I turn 26 years old and I officially become too old to be covered under a parent’s insurance policy per Obamacare.
I’ve known it was coming for a very long time. I remember sitting in the Bigelow cafeteria at Western Michigan University at 19 years old and healthy, with my husband (who was my fiancé at the time) and watching the tv coverage of Obamacare and first hearing about the until-26 provision.
What I didn’t know at that time was that it also covered you even if you are married. I didn’t find that out until a couple days after I was diagnosed at age 22 when the doctor’s office called and told me that my dad’s insurance was going to work for my bills. Unbeknownst to me, he had kept me on his insurance. I bawled and bawled. Thank goodness he had!
Two years later my dad first started mentioning his serious desire to quit his job and travel the country. We immediately began the process of getting my insulin pump while we had the chance. His insurance was a very generous policy and covered far more of my expenses than we ever expected. (Even though we had to jump through quite a few hoops!)
Then in 2015 I began taking a more aggressive approach with my doctor’s office and got my prescriptions adjusted and tailored to my needs so my insurance could meet them. And I began hoarding my supplies in anticipation of losing my dad’s insurance on October 1, 2015, 40 days shy of my 26th birthday, when he left on his new adventure.
So here’s the point of this post: Obamacare has a lot of controversial points, but I am SO GRATEFUL for the clause that allowed my dad to cover me for the 5 extra years after I was married. I didn’t have to take COBRA, I wasn’t denied for a pre-existing condition, and I was able to receive the best care. None of this would have been possible without those provisions.
When I was diagnosed I was 22 years old and working as a low-level manager at Walmart making even less money than minimum wage is now. I would never have been able to afford my own care. I’m thankful for Obamacare and I’m even more thankful for my dad who did everything in his power to set me up for success.
I’m turning 26. I’m still alive. I have back-up supplies in case of emergency. And I now have a decent understanding of the healthcare system and insurances. I’d consider that to be a pretty decent accomplishment for a little over a quarter-century of life.