We’re only in the third week of six months of open enrollment, and Americans are clearly excited to learn about their new health insurance options. While the system still faces some challenges under the heavy volume of interest, we’re already hearing success stories.
Meet Mark Sullivan, a 31-year-old software developer from Texas. Signing up for affordable health insurance has given Mark the freedom to pursue his dream of starting a business. “It’s hard to express how much that means to me,” he said.
After working for two years in Austin’s tech sector, Mark has been eager to start his own business. However, the risk of high health care costs if he left his job made him hesitate— that’s why he was eagerly anticipating open enrollment.
Mark got started creating an account on healthcare.gov right away. After reviewing the plans available and comparing them to his COBRA continuation coverage premium, Mark is relieved to know that he can focus on growing his new business without the cost of health care cutting into money that should go into the company. Despite a few glitches along the way, Mark found an insurance plan that will provide him affordable coverage, and it can start January 1st.
Mark now feels confident focusing on the success of his new consulting business, saying health insurance is “one less thing I have to think about.” He also thinks the Marketplaces will make it possible for more people to start new businesses.
After comparing plans, Mark settled on a bronze option and added dental insurance. He will receive $82 per month in financial help, which will halve the monthly premium he will pay down to $78. Even without the tax credit, his total premium is still much more affordable than the private plans he had been able to find on the individual market.
It’s no small task making health insurance available to millions of Americans for the first time. But this is a marathon, not a sprint, and stories like Mark’s remind us why it’s so important to help consumers get covered.