A Mom and Student Saved by the ACA
Updated: Apr 9
I am a doctoral student and instructor at a university in Florida, studying writing. I moved to this state five years ago, and this is my last year of study. I am also seven months pregnant with a baby girl, due in March.
Graduate students are eligible to purchase insurance, but the cost is significant when compared to the wages I earn as a teacher, and the student plan offers bare bones coverage. Wanting more comprehensive coverage, I signed up for a silver plan through the Affordable Care Act starting in 2015. It has covered all of my women's care needs and been a lifesaver for me in this pregnancy.
As an older mom, there were many tests and exams that I needed to get for my baby. I was also told by my doctor that because my plan was through the ACA, it included maternity.
With all of the things one worries about in pregnancy, at least I did not have to worry about whether I would be able to pay for the care I needed to have a healthy baby.
Because of my pregnancy, I was transferred to Medicaid in 2017, but I will need to purchase insurance soon after my baby is born. Not all teaching jobs offer insurance benefits, and increasingly, many do not. I won't let my daughter go without care, so it is likely I will need to work outside my field.
Going forward, portability of an insurance plan outside of employment is important to me. So are subsidies, because individual insurance would not be affordable to me without some help. Though I do not plan to have more children, I want other families to have maternity coverage, as it has been so essential for me. I support other provisions of the ACA as well, but these are the ones that affect me most directly.
I am a positive example of someone who has been very happy with their plan, and I believe that any adjustments to the ACA -- or any efforts to "replace" -- must ensure at least the same level of care to as many people.