In the fall of 2010, Megan Schley got sick. Megan had recently graduated from college and was in the process of launching her own small business. Fearing cancer, her doctors ordered many expensive tests. Megan did not have health insurance at the time, and her family was forced to pay more than $6,000 out-of-pocket. In November, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Her mother, Pat, worried about her condition and struggled to keep up with the bills.
“We laid out a lot of money. It was getting to the point where it’s like a mortgage payment. And, you don’t want to put yourself in the hot seat, but when your child is sick, what else are you going to do?”
The family learned that, because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Megan would be able to enroll in her father’s health plan starting in January. But, she needed immediate treatment. The injections she needed cost $800 each, and if Megan could not get insurance until January, the family would have to pay an additional $4,800 on their own in December.
Then, Megan’s father saw an ad in the paper for the New York Bridge Plan – the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan established under the ACA – which could cover Megan until her coverage under her father’s plan kicked in in January. Megan quickly applied and was able to get her coverage to start on December 1st.
Megan has now transferred to coverage under her father’s insurance plan and is back on track to starting her own business. Pat no longer loses sleep over the thought of having to refinance the house to pay for her daughter’s care.
“It’s a relief to know that she can go to the doctor and get the care she needs, and I don’t have to worry about how the heck I’m going to pay for it next month.”