I work hard helping at-risk young adults in Dallas get the job training and life skills they need to make better lives for themselves and their families. I know how important that is because I'm a single mom trying to do the best by my children.
My kids are great, and I want only the best for them. But one thing I wasn't always able to do was provide health insurance for them. I don't get insurance through my employer because I'm a contractor, and I couldn't afford the $500 monthly premiums for my children and myself.
Not having health insurance for the past seven years – my children were uninsured for about a year – has weighed heavily on my mind. I've had to make tough decisions. I managed to cobble together free or inexpensive health services through local clinics and my church, but it was never easy.
I felt helpless being unable to provide something as basic as health care to my family.
That's why I was thrilled to find out that I could find affordable, quality health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. It was cheaper and easier than I had thought.
All I had to do was log onto HealthCare.gov and explore my options. I selected a Silver plan – in no more than 15 minutes! I qualified for reduced costs, so my premium is only $131 a month. And my children are covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Having insurance that covers preventive services is going to help me stay healthy and catch potential problems early – a great peace of mind I'm grateful to have. I've had two repeat mammograms that I had to pay for out of pocket, and I need to monitor myself for possible growths. My new insurance covers mammograms at no additional cost.
It's a great relief. If you're sick, you can't take care of your kids.
So I'm very excited to finally be covered. As a single mom, I have an obligation to take care of myself and my kids and now I can focus on that.
My coverage went into effect on March 1. I urge all moms and dads to get the security that comes with a Health Insurance Marketplace plan. Get covered through the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov by March 31, the end of open enrollment for the current year. Don't delay.