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Susan’s ‘I’m covered’ story: The freedom to change jobs or start a business

The world has changed a lot. Today people aren’t staying in one job their whole life. They’re changing jobs, trying different careers, seeing what else is out there. This is especially true of young people like me.

I’m not someone who is looking for the typical nine-to-five job – I love the outdoors and I love to travel. I used to work for a sea kayaking company in Ketchikan, Alaska, and like many of my friends, I’ve worked in a series of hospitality or service jobs that don’t come with health insurance, and we couldn’t afford it on our own.

I was lucky and didn’t run into any serious health issues. Some of my friends weren’t so fortunate: They had accidents or suffered from random viruses that landed them deep in medical debt.

When I heard about the Health Insurance Marketplace, I decided not to take any more chances. It took me about an hour to check out various plans and to sign up. I found a plan that fits my needs and is really affordable – it costs me only $40 a month with the tax credit.

To me health insurance is like freedom. It means that I don’t have to worry about some horrible accident while skiing or something just completely ruining the rest of my life.

Because of the Health Insurance Marketplace, I don’t have to feel tied to some job that I don’t love just because of the benefits. Now I’m a travel blogger, traveling around the world and writing about how people can add adventure to their lives. It’s what I love doing, and the Marketplace makes it easier for me to do it.

I haven’t – knock on wood – had to use my new health insurance for anything serious. But I did use it for some preventive services, such as my annual check-up. It’s a pretty cool feeling when they ask you ‘Do you have insurance?’ and you get to say yes.

Open enrollment through the Marketplace is November 15, 2014, to February 15, 2015. Whether it’s your first time getting coverage through the Marketplace, or you signed up previously for 2014 coverage and need to re-enroll for next year, you should check out your options. You can review the 5 Steps to Staying Covered here.

I found the website easy to use. But if you need assistance or prefer talking to a person, call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), any time, any day.

Susan Shain, 28, is from Ketchikan, Alaska

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