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Within A Year, Amelia Ciskey Qualified For Two #EnrollmentMoments

People wait to buy health insurance with the help of City of Houston application counselors at a service center in Houston, Monday March 31, 2014. Texas health care advocates, hospitals and assisters are giving a final, round-the-clock push to get as many uninsured to buy plans through the federal marketplace on the last day of open enrollment.

CREDIT: AP/Michael Stravato.

Amelia Ciskey of Austin, TX, teaches voice and piano lessons. She has also recently experienced two significant milestones like many other young Americansgraduating college and turning 26 years old.

Obamacare has extended the age that a young adult can stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26. But, once an individual reaches that age, he or she becomes responsible for purchasing an insurance plan.

“I graduated in May 2013 and I also turned 26, so I could not stay on my parents’ insurance anymore,” she said. “So, I either had to get a private plan or get a full-time job.”

Yet, Ciskey’s two degrees and passion were in music and expanding her job at the time to full-time was out of the question. She ultimately opted to teach music instead and be remain uninsured until the state and federal marketplaces became available this past open enrollment period.

Unfortunately, living uninsured was too familiar for Ciskey.

Before Obamacare was implemented and allowed young adult to stay on their parents’ plan longer, she was uninsured. During that time she injured herself severely bruising her ribs, almost breaking them.

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CREDIT: Courtesy of Mari Stoner.

“If I had broken them, it would have been financially devastating. So when I decided to go uninsured again, I had to be really careful,” she said.

Ciskey wasted no time to enroll in a health care plan when healthcare.gov went live, and she was able to choose a plan that best fit her lifestyle and budget with a BlueCross BlueShield plan that costs her only $120 a month.

Ciskey has been able to visit the doctor twice already and is relieved that her payments will not cost her too much. The co-payments on her plan allowed her know exactly how much her visit would be.

“It was a hard decision for me. My mom was pushing me to go full-time for insurance through the company that I worked for, and I did not want to do that,” she said.

Obamacare has given many Americans the ability not to work solely for health insurance. Still, Ciskey made it clear she would have pursued her dreams and passion regardless – however Obamacare made the choice easier.

Although open enrollment for Obamacare is closed, those who have recently experienced a qualifying enrollment momentsuch as turning 26are eligible for a special enrollment period.

Rhonda Brown is a young writer covering health care.

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