Alexander Star sets an example, especially for those with chronic conditions. Get covered before Jan. 31!
You’d never know by looking at him that Alexander Star has had type 1 diabetes since he was 15 years old. In fact, most people are surprised when the recording artist/songwriter pulls out his insulin pump — a small device that gives him insulin injections if his blood glucose levels get too high.
It’s not like you can tell someone has diabetes by appearance. But Star says he’s determined to “break out of the box of what people think, if I can lead by example” to encourage others to live well with the chronic condition.
So it’s not surprising that the 29-year-old has health insurance, despite the misconception that young people don’t care about getting covered. And it wouldn’t be possible without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, he says.
Star was on his father’s insurance until he turned 26, and then he had two choices: use a COBRA plan or lose his health insurance. But under COBRA, his premiums shot up from $120 a month to $512 a month, which he just could not afford.
But Star was in luck, because just a couple of months later the Obamacare marketplace opened up, and he was able to find an even better plan for just $150 a month, he says.
It was surprisingly easy for me. I went to Healthcare.gov, filled out everything, and the insurance company contacted me to help me choose the right plan. I said ‘Let’s do it’ and it was hassle-free.
Before he signed up for his new plan, Star used insulin syringes and a blood glucose meter to manually check his blood glucose levels. But when he started with his healthcare team at Cleveland Clinic Florida, they told him an insulin pump and continuous blood glucose meter was an option for him, at no extra cost. These tools make it much easier to manage type 1 diabetes, which can be challenging to control.
“Without the ACA I wouldn’t have a meter like this or a pump,” Star says. “I didn’t even know these things existed until I switched doctors and went to Cleveland Clinic. I see an endocrinologist, a nurse practitioner and a pump specialist who knows it inside and out. My team is a lot stronger now.”
Having his diabetes under the best possible control is important to Star, who is currently touring, performing concerts and delivering uplifting messages at schools. He was even invited to perform at the United Nations last August. Star is so determined to educate others that he included a scene highlighting his diabetes care in a music video.
I’m using my career as a vehicle for positive change and am becoming the new face of high-profile type 1 diabetics taking control of their condition. I don’t see my circumstance as negative. I see it as God kicking me in the butt. I can do something great if I take care of myself.
Star is an example not just for people with diabetes, but for every young person. After all, his diagnosis at age 15 came as a complete surprise — and you never know when you might need healthcare. Especially for young adults, the cost to be insured could easily be less than the cost of even basic care.
Open enrollment for 2016 coverage ends January 31 — so enroll today at Healthcare.gov
If you want some extra help, our friends at Get Covered America have a nifty tool that can help you compare plans. The super-easy Get Covered Plan Explorer lets you weigh the variables of a number of plans side by side so you can choose the fit that’s right for you.
You can also find local, in-person help for making your buying decisions, using the Get Covered Connector.
Bonus: Check out Star’s video for his song “Benefits of Love.”
[Photos courtesy of Alexander Star.]