Friday, April 19, 2024

Guest Blogger: Jose Aristimuno “Young Latinos Are Feeling the Positive Effects of the Affordable Care Act”

Jose AristimunoIf you’ve ever shopped for health insurance, you know that the prices for adequate health care, whether for an individual or a family, are unreachable.

In the past, insurance companies charged you an immense amount of money to get on a plan. And if you happened to have a pre-existing condition, they would either deny you coverage, or raise your premiums even higher.

But just this week, the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace went into effect and millions of people are now able to enroll in it.

The marketplace, a one-stop shop to compare plans and prices, serves as an incentive for private insurance companies to compete for our business. Previously, insurance companies gave their best prices in a bulk, in most cases through an employer-based plan.

Now, thanks to the marketplace, families or individuals who are looking for affordable health care plans are be able to buy them. In essence, the marketplace makes each state act as its own company, where insurance companies compete for people seeking health care coverage, forcing these insurance companies to create new low and affordable prices.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, nearly 6 in 10 Americans currently without health insurance could get coverage for $100 a month or less.

In addition to the marketplace, the Affordable Care Act specifically addresses the inequalities in accessing health care that have affected minority communities across the country.

With this new law in place, an estimated 10.2 million Latinos will have the opportunity to purchase affordable health coverage.

With young adults being the age group most likely to be uninsured, it is imperative to point out the benefits of Obamacare not just to Latinos as a whole, but to young Latinos as well.

As young Latinos, it’s important for us to have access to preventive care and health education, including flu shots, birth control and other preventive services. Obamacare will allow young individuals to access such services, without having to pay a co-pay or deductible.

When 1 out of 4 Latinos reported withdrawing money from savings to pay for health care costs, it’s important for young Latinos to understand that Obamacare is helping them focus on other priorities, such as getting good grades in the classroom or excelling at that first job out of college.

In the past, young Latinos lost their health insurance when they left home or graduated from college. Now, thanks to this law, young Latinos are able to stay on their parents’ health care insurance until they are 26.

As a result of this, young Latinos between the ages 19 and 25 who would have otherwise been uninsured, now have access to coverage under a parent’s health care plan.

And for those of us who are unable to qualify to stay on our parent’s insurance, under this law, we are eligible to get financial assistance to pay for insurance via the new health Insurance marketplace, which opens up for enrollment starting next week.

As a young Latino, who is facing student debt, and a tough economic market, it matters a great deal to be able to have affordable health care prices.

With Latinos starting more businesses each year than their counterparts, it’s extremely helpful to know and rest assured that this law caters to young Latino entrepreneurs, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to health care coverage through their employer, where a majority of Americans get their insurance from.

But most importantly, the Affordable Care Act provides us with a piece of mind, that just because of a pre-existing condition, we won’t be denied coverage. The fact is that I’ve seen too many people, including my own mother, face unreachable premiums or be denied health insurance because of the old policies in place. Thanks to the new marketplace, insurance companies can’t deny you or increase your premiums because of a pre-existing condition,

At the end of the day, this law is helping young Latinos have a little less worry on their minds, and instead be able to focus on their future. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young Latinos, including myself, are able to afford their health care, and have access to preventive care that allows us focus on what’s important.

Jose Aristimuno is the founder of Latino Giant, a digital platform focused on empowering U.S. Latinos to reach their greatest potential.

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.