Affordable Care Act, healthcare, Obamacare — December 14, 2016

After a biking accident, this man got the dental work he needed thanks to Obamacare

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Without insurance, Mark would have put off the care he needed to save his tooth.

Sometimes, it’s the little things. Mark admits he’s not one of the people whose lives have been saved by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. But having insurance did save his tooth.

The 26-year-old, who lives in Portland, Oregon, is a bike commuter because it’s less expensive than a bus pass. He was riding a familiar path one night when he hit a pothole that caused him to flip over his handlebars. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet, so his injuries weren’t serious, but a quarter of a prominent tooth was broken off when he hit his jaw on the way down.

Because it didn’t hurt, he admits he put off getting it taken care of for a bit, concerned that his insurance wouldn’t cover it. Mark is currently unemployed after completing a seasonal job, and he has insurance under Oregon’s Medicaid expansion, part of the ACA. When he finally went in to get the tooth repaired, he was delighted to discover there was no charge.

Without this safety net, I would’ve put off this procedure until it was too late to save the tooth. I’m thankful every day that someone is looking out for my best interests, even when I can’t afford it.

Mark says his parents encouraged him to get health insurance, after a number of family experiences demonstrated the importance of being covered — including one when Mark was young.

“When I was 15, I was in the hospital for a long time,” he says. “If my parents hadn’t had insurance, they would have been hard-pressed to pay for it.”

In addition to the dental care, Mark has used his insurance coverage to fill a couple of prescriptions, get some vaccinations and a routine physical. Although he’s generally healthy, he worries about what might happen if Obamacare is repealed or dismantled under the Trump administration.

The potential of losing health insurance makes me hope I never get sick again. I’d be wondering how I’d be able to buy insurance on my meager salary. I’m young and invincible, so I can’t imagine being older and having any sort of genetic ailment, or some sort of illness you’d have to seek out a doctor for.

Do you worry about being able to buy insurance if Obamacare is repealed or dismantled? Tell us about it HERE if you’d like to be considered for a future post.

Open enrollment for 2017 insurance continues through January 31, 2017. You must enroll by December 15, 2016, for coverage to begin January 1, 2017. Get covered today at HealthCare.gov.

[Photo courtesy of Mark.]

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