Meet a ‘young invincible’ who got covered under Obamacare for $20 a month

At age 31, he already knows how much it costs to go without health insurance.

Eddie Mulak couldn’t wait to get covered. He is among the millions of Americans who went from being uninsured to having health insurance on January 1, 2014. And it’s only costing him $20 a month.

Unlike many of his fellow young Americans, who are expected to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) right before the 2014 enrollment deadline on March 31, Mulak signed up in December. He knew the initial glitches at HealthCare.gov would be worked out — and they were. By the time he used the site to enroll he says it was “easy breezy.”

But why would a healthy 31-year-old be in a hurry to buy health insurance? Especially when the naysayers insist young people won’t get covered at all? Because it’s the smart, responsible thing to do, Mulak says.

The last time I had insurance was more than 10 years ago. There is nothing positive about not having insurance. The couple of times I had a fever or the flu, my only access to healthcare was the emergency room. I used it, but I’m stuck with $5,000 in bills that are sitting on my credit report. Now I have the peace of mind knowing I can go to the doctor without worrying about what it will cost.

Before he had coverage, Mulak didn’t see a doctor for recurrent acid reflux. Now he can get real treatment instead of carrying around a huge bottle of TUMS. He’s also gotten a flu shot and has coverage for routine tests that would identify any health problems early.

“Just because you feel healthy doesn’t mean nothing’s going on,” he says. “It makes so much sense to be proactive and be healthier.”

As a college student working multiple jobs, Mulak appreciates the tax subsidies that kept his premiums down to just $20 per month. The maximum he’ll have to pay out-of-pocket in a year is $750 and he has a $0 deductible. That’s right: zero. He also pays nothing for generic prescription drugs and just $10 to see his primary care physician. Mulak also got to choose his doctor, which was important to him.

He and a friend from the restaurant they work at went through the enrollment process together and picked the same plan — and now their co-workers are eager to sign up, too, Mulak says.

They’re all asking us about getting covered — how to do it and how easy it is. They felt like they didn’t need coverage but now they’re signing up and they’re excited about it.

Mulak even helped his mom shop for coverage for his stepbrother, although he says the site is so simple to use she didn’t really need his help.

The ability to compare plans is really nice, and I didn’t have to call my friends who work in the insurance industry to have them explain things to me. It’s all spelled out in clean, simple ways. My mom said, ‘Oh, this is so easy!’

Mulak was eager to enroll not only because he knows what it’s like to live without health insurance. He also believes that healthcare is right — not a privilege. Mulak urges other young people to get covered.

Don’t make the mistake of not getting health insurance. It’s totally worth it. Don’t saddle yourself with thousands of dollars in healthcare bills. Get that covered preventive care, get that checkup. Take care of yourself.

Remember: The deadline to get covered and avoid paying a penalty for not having health insurance this year is March 31, 2014. Visit HealthCare.gov and sign up today.

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  • JivinJ

    Is this the same Edward Mulak who got arrested for having child porn?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/child-porn-arrest-in-michigan/

  • Aaron

    So, this is great news and I’m glad that you’re providing a counter narrative to the Affordable-Care-(Act)-Is-nothing-but-an-Unmitigated-Disaster stories, however, everybody I know who has signed up for insurance under ACA is in fact paying more now than they were previously for equal or lesser coverage. Perhaps you could include some tips or a guide in the next post on this subject? Don’t get me wrong: I’m 100% for expanded care and understand that many are benefiting from their new eligibility. However, everybody I know who was insured privately in the past is now paying more than they were before. (N.B. These are most definitely not 1%ers, but $30-50k/year folks).

    • Amy Lynn Smith

      I appreciate the input, Aaron. Your question is a fair one, and although it’s best addressed on a case-by-case basis, in general some folks will, in fact, see costs go up a bit in the short-term. They also could be paying more if they bought coverage outside the ACA marketplace. Every plan is different, but plans under the ACA must cover certain services that many individual plans did not. Also, many people’s old plans would not have covered much of anything if they were seriously injured or ill. That said, I’ll see if I can address this in a future post as I try to help people understand all aspects of the ACA.

      • Aaron

        Hi Amy, thanks for your responsiveness. I appreciate the case-by-case nature as well as the additional coverage element. Nevertheless, it would seem that 1) insurance companies are using the new requirements to take advantage of existing clients (many of whom were under the impression that they’d be grandfathered in under existing plans without their rates going up) and; 2) despite the influx of cash to hire ACA navigators, etc., many are still at a loss as far as how they can take advantage of this development as effectively and economically as possible. I understand, however, that “10 Secret Tips for Using ACA as Effectively and Economically as Possible” isn’t really the purview of a political blog. ;)

        • Amy Lynn Smith

          Actually, we have run some educational posts to help get folks ready for enrollment — and I already have a follow-up in the queue. I’ll definitely keep your suggestions in mind as I write more of these. Thanks, Aaron.

  • Green Mug

    I don’t know if I trust this guy as a reliable source of what to do. He’s made a few bad choices in his life already.

    http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=19943
    http://mdocweb.state.mi.us/OTIS2/otis2profile.aspx?mdocNumber=579876

    I just know that my insurance has gotten more expensive for less coverage.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Sounds like YOU are the one making bad choices in this instance then.

      • Green Mug

        To be clear, I’m paying more for the same insurance I had before the ACA came into law, and my deductibles have gone up. I appreciate you drawing my attention to my mistake. It’s not less coverage really, it’s the same with much higher costs.

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