Natalie Jill Hamingson’s life-saving emergency surgery three months ago to remove her inflamed gall bladder could have set back by at least $49,000, had she not taken advantage of a provision in the health care reform law—so-called Obamacare. She is one of millions of young adults, according to recent research, who otherwise would have lacked healthcare coverage or faced dauntingly expensive private health plans.
Hamingson’s surgery was a culmination of more than two years of pain, most of the time “excruciating,” she said. There were four emergency room visits, some misdiagnoses by primary care physicians and specialists and a slew of blood workups and scans, all of which would have buried her family in debt. Except that under the 2009 Affordable Care Act (ACA), Hamingson was able to continue being on her father’s health insurance plan.
“These months of pain and hospital visits have been an ordeal, but having health insurance made it easier for me,” Hamingson, 24. She added, “For [Mitt] Romney to say that the health care law is not important and that the ER is an option for those without insurance is a joke.”
Hamingson shares her story with whoever wants to listen. She admits that before her illness she was somewhat ignorant of the health care act President Obama signed into law in March 2010, but now she is an ardent advocate for it.
“Peace of Mind for Parents”
The provision in the ACA that allows people like Hamingson to join or stay on their parents’ health plans until they turn 26 has provided “care for millions of young adults, and financial security and peace of mind for the ...