Maura M

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never what you’re gonna get.” This quote from the movie Forrest Gump explains so well why insurance is important to me. Whether it be disease, disaster, or death, insurance supports those in need. When I was born my parents had no idea how many health issues I would face in the future, without insurance it is likely I would not even be able to go to college. Those around me have been able to thrive and live their lives with the support of insurance. The increase in age expectancy occurred because of medical advancements and medical coverage. Millions of people have been saved financially, physically, and emotionally by insurance. Two of those millions of people have been my father and I.

Before my parents could pick me fragile self out of that box of chocolates they first had to endure their own health issues. Health insurance is important because without it I would not exist. Several years before I was born, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His job luckily provided very good health insurance and allowed him time off for treatment. Being as young as he was, he would have had no way of paying for chemotherapy and the immense amount of pain medication prescribed without insurance. Aggressive treatment and hope were made possible because my parents did not have to worry about having a crazy bill from the hospital each month. Instead he was able to focus on healing, which miraculously he did.

I have three older brothers, all the spitting image of healthy boys. The only thing that ever hurt them when they were young was minor, a cut there, a bruise here. They inherited great eyesight, quick wit, and my mom’s clean bill of health. That is why when I started having health problems it was unanticipated. This is what is so great in the insurance industry, my parents paid for all of us to be insured even when my brothers never had any problems but when I started to have issues the insurance paid off. It is a win-win system.

In addition to several minor conditions, I have a neurological condition called Narcolepsy that causes severe daytime drowsiness, and in some circumstances complete loss of muscle control. Narcolepsy is not fun, as you can imagine. Without proper medication I am unable to function as a normal person. Without proper medication I am as sleepy as a sloth. Without health insurance I would not have proper medication. The drug I take for narcolepsy is called Modafinil.  A 30 pill bottle without insurance costs $1,500. A 30 pill bottle with health insurance costs $20.

This medicine treats my condition and has allowed me to become an honors student at a prestigious business school. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without being properly medicated. I would not be able to drive, work, study, or do anything a normal 18 year old girl could do. For a girl my age I have been to the hospital more times than normal. I’ve been 4 times for kidney stones where I had to get ultra-sounds and morphine shots. Then I have been to the emergency room twice for allergic reactions to NSAID, and once for asthma. Emergency room bills and prescription costs would be sky high without the support of my family’s insurance. I take several medications and require doctor appointment every month or so. Not to mention the price tag of the tests performed to be diagnosed with Narcolepsy. The list goes on and on but thankfully so does the coverage.

The drug business has recently seen spikes in drug prices and money hungry business people infiltrating the industry. Insurance has protected myself and other like me from their market manipulations. Obamacare has attempted to insure those who have never had to capability to become insured. Although those are both political and business topics, its important to recognize the significance that the insurance industry plays in everyday life. The complexity to which my life has coincided and physically depended on insurance allows me to attest to its importance. Whenever I think of how much I hate the state of my health I always remember how lucky I am that I get to pursue my passions in thanks to medical treatment and health insurance. As important as car insurance, home insurance, and others are, my first-hand accounts and appreciation of health insurance really have changed my life for the better.

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