Reform: Young Adults Get Health Care Coverage & A Strong Start
My name is Nicole Kazanecki and I am from Long Island, NY. I am from a family of four which includes my parents and my sister, Samantha. I am 22 years old and currently employed at Towson University. I graduated from Towson in the spring of 2011 and began working there in July as the Interim Coordinator for Civic Engagement. I was hired as a contingent employee to work until July 2012. Because I am a short-term employee, I do not receive health care benefits. Thankfully, under the Affordable Care Act, I am covered by my parent’s health insurance.
My sister, Samantha, graduated from college in May of 2009. She was hired to work for a company in New York City that also did not offer health care benefits. Upon graduating, my parents’ health insurance company informed them that her coverage would end on May 31, 2009—only days after finishing college. Although I consider my family to have strong bodies and minds, I distinctly remember my sister saying she couldn’t get hurt or sick until the Affordable Care Act was passed. It saddens me to think that if she had become ill or hurt, that she would either have had to undergo the consequences of lacking health insurance or possibly incur a huge amount of debt from medical bills. Thankfully, she too was covered by my parent’s health insurance after the ACA passed.
Since beginning my work at Towson in 2011, I have visited the doctor more often than I did as a junior and senior in college combined. Thankfully, my visits have been for nothing more than routine check-ups and testing; but if I was not covered by my parents’ health insurance, I would not be able to receive these services. I consider myself lucky to have health insurance that allows me to visit the doctor’s office when necessary. I was fortunate to start working in my first job as soon as I graduated from college, but many young adults who graduated recently have not been as fortunate as me. I hope to speak for them as well as those who are employed and covered by their parents’ health insurance when I say thank you to all of those involved in making this possible.