Erica C

Insurance is a basic necessity in today’s world, and with so many different types of insurance, it has become ingrained in the majority of the consumer market. Insurance is being sold for cell phones, transportation, loans, and many different electronics, and has become a silent backbone of American consumerism, so much so that there are even types of insurances being sold for pets and livestock.  Although there are different types of insurance, I have chosen to elaborate on the importance of health insurance. This particular field of insurance interests me because of personal experiences with the general public population and Arizona’s Health Care Cost Confinement System or AHCCCS. Covering the cost of medical expenses clearly continues to become more difficult in an expanding world, just as the necessity for health care continues to rise with a continuously growing population. Throughout my life, I have witnessed firsthand how essential insurance is to the well being of individuals and families in the United States of America, and I have also witnessed the decreasing knowledge among the general public around the insurance system. As a financially independent young adult, I have already begun to feel the frustrating process of medical expenses; whether it be to cover the cost of a generic medication, or to be able to order contacts so that I can legally drive. Without insurance, I would not be able to cover any of my medical expenses, which is a reality that can be seen through the majority of the population in the United States of America.

Aside from my personal expenses, I have also found that many people that I have encountered throughout my community face the same struggle to meet costs, even with their current insurance providers. Tucson, Arizona is a city that has been struggling with poverty for many generations, and without the services like AHCCCS, many young families and people living on a fixed income would be going without health insurance. Insurance is so important in fact, that my position at the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona as an Enrollment Specialist revolves around helping the people of Tucson enroll in AHCCCS, in addition to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and providing VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Through my time as an AmeriCorps State member, I have begun assisting the residents in the city of Tucson, Arizona sign up for AHCCCS, and other governmental programs. Through this training I have learned about the many different Premium Tax Credits (PTC) and I have been following webinars on the health reform process through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. My knowledge on different marketplace insurances has been expanding and I hope to continue to learn about the insurance through my involvement with a variety of different organizations.

Having a well-rounded perspective on health insurance inside and outside the marketplace is my goal as I continue with school. I believe that the basic fundamentals of insurance policy should be taught more regularly in schools. I also believe that without insurance, in any form or fashion, the people of the United States would not be as advanced in medical technology, medicine in general, and more than a handful of industries would be completely un-affordable to a large majority of people. I have been involved in volunteering with the local legislative district ten throughout the past two years, and have further investigated the topics of concern among voters in the Tucson area, only to find that one of the major problems across families is the cost of health insurance in Arizona, however without the insurance, medical bills would completely destroy families’ incomes, especially in young families or disabled individuals.

While volunteering as a member of the Tucson HEAT Optimist Club, I have also observed the importance of health insurance while sewing pillowcases for child cancer patients at the local children’s hospital. Without insurance, it would be unlikely that many of those children would be receiving treatment. Watching how big of an impact that insurance plays in everyone’s lives, it is hard to believe that people are not well-informed of their healthcare options or how to sign up for insurance programs at all. It has quickly become a goal of mine to fully understand the insurance market in a well-rounded way, in the hopes to share the benefits of health-care insurance. Moving forward, I hope to continue my education and study abroad in the next couple of semesters. Without insurance, I would not be able to save some money to go overseas to work on my bachelors in Neuroscience at the University of Arizona.

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