miércoles, 27 de enero de 2016

John’s #GetCovered Story: Staying Covered and Staying Alive

Dept. of Health & Human Services
January 26, 2016
By: John Pointer, Austin, Texas
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 5, and every year since then until the Affordable Care Act, it has been – to put it mildly—a hassle to get health insurance.
I now have excellent health coverage that I can afford through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and I can’t be discriminated against because of my pre-existing condition. That has made a tremendous difference in my life.
I’ve won music awards and acted in national advertisements and major stage productions. From the outside, I look like a very successful performer. But awards won’t buy you groceries or health insurance. And if I don’t get my insulin, I would die within 48 hours.
Before the ACA and the Marketplace, I had coverage for about $450 a month through the former Texas Health Insurance Pool. Risk pools like that were designed for people with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t buy coverage elsewhere. But the pool covered only two appointments a year for me. My doctor needed to see me four times a year or he couldn’t renew my insulin prescriptions.  So he refused, and I was stuck.
Then in 2005, community leaders launched the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, or HAAM, to help local uninsured working musicians get affordable health care. Austin prides itself on being the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and the founders of HAAM felt that musicians were a community resource that needed support. I got some medical care through HAAM and assistance from the drug company for the two types of insulin I have to take. But it only covered me locally. And once the drug companies changed their formulas for direct assistance, I had to rely on a friendly doctor who gave me samples.
John Pointer meets HHS Secretary Burwell during a visit to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) at Foundation Communities in Austin, Texas on December 13, 2015.
READ MORE: John’s #GetCovered Story: Staying Covered and Staying Alive
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