Jasmine P

Each and every day hundreds and thousands of people interact with each other consequently creating a vast, interactive web of individual lives and experiences. This web combined with the inherent human tendency to fumble every once in awhile easily allows us to realize that, sometimes, unexpected things happen. From missing an interview to taking a wrong turn on the freeway, unexpected occurrences are unavoidable. That is why all we can do is prepare ourselves to handle these moments in life. Health insurance provides me and my family with the confidence that, no matter what trials and tribulations lie ahead, we have a safety net to soften their blows.

Fiscal uncertainty and the financial burden of providing proper health services to my sister and me throughout our childhood was replaced with hope and assurance of recovery from whatever ailment came our way. On March 8, 1997, my mom gave birth to me and approximately six and a half years later, on November 13, she gave birth to my sister. My parents sped head first into parenthood, where scrapes, bruises, sprains and more would abound. My sister received a tonsillectomy when she was in second grade. In fourth grade, she was running on the playground with her friends when she accidently tripped and fell headfirst onto the concrete floor. Countless times, my sister and I fell victim to the flu. Amongst all the “ouches,” “boo-boos,” winter colds, and heavy fevers, health insurance was there for my family and me. Because of this, whenever any of us got sick, instead of worrying about whether or not we will be able to receive proper health treatment because of the cost, we would be comforted with the knowledge that we would receive treatment and have a speedy recovery.

Having health insurance gave my family confidence in a happier and healthier future, despite the unpredictability of the body, and put into perspective the immense privilege they had in being able to finally financially access proper health care. In the summer of 2012, my aunt fell victim to ovarian cancer but despite her battle, she, along with the rest of the family, was filled with hope in a life that was cancer-free. During one of my mother’s visits to see her, my aunt told my mother of the tremendous relief it was to have her treatments financially insured and the great privilege it was to even have access to health care. Having grown up with thirteen siblings in a very rural part of the Philippines, both of them knew of the difficult trials faced, mentally, physically and emotionally, when basic health services are not made easily accessible to the people. Both of their parents died of causes that could have possibly been treated, with their mother dying of ovarian cancer and their father dying from lack of proper health services following a heart attack. Because they did not have the money and resources to provide treatment for their parents, my mother was left parentless by her sophomore year in high school and the course of her entire family’s life would be changed forever. The lives of my mother and her thirteen siblings serve as a testament to how crucial health insurance is for families.

While health insurance is certainly no requirement for maintaining a happy family life, having it is definitely a factor which can tremendously benefit the happiness and well-being of each member. Sometimes, all it takes is one treatment to save a life; if health insurance can help finance for that one treatment, it can relieve both the patient and the family of the emotional toil and fiscal burdens that would have resulted if they did not have health insurance.

The precious health and well-being of one’s family cannot be put into the hands of chance. Health insurance provides people with the financial and emotional support they need to take on the future with confidence. Like it did for my family, health insurance offers hope for a better and healthier future. It even goes so far as to save lives, like in the case of my aunt. It played a huge role in holding my family together; health insurance was our backup plan and has consistently been there for us, from sprained ankles to life-saving cancer treatments. Had it not been for health insurance, the dynamics of my life would have drastically changed for the worse. Every day, I am utterly grateful for the role that it has played in me and my family’s life.

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