Guest Blogger, Maryanne Tomazic, Field Coordinator, Raising Women’s Voices
This weekend is Mother’s Day. My inbox is full of e-mails from various fruit, flower, and chocolate companies reminding me to send a gift to my mother. Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t like those traditional gifts. I once bought her a box of pears – to which she pointed out I could get twice as many pears for half the price at Costco. When I bought her a bouquet of white tulips, I received an angry voicemail reminding me that in Chinese culture, white flowers were synonymous with death. And chocolate – well that just brought on the rant of overpriced gifts with useless wrapping that is a ploy to make me waste my money on nothing.
“If you want to give me a present,” she always said. “Go to school, get good grades, and get a good job.”
The wish for a good job was just as much about financial independence as it was about the time-sensitive concern of insurance. Our health insurance company would only include me in the family plan if I was under 21 years old, or if I was under 23 and still in school. In either scenario, upon graduation, I would need to have a job with health benefits by July or, much to my mother’s fear, become uninsured.
My mother didn’t have to worry because I was fortunate to get a job with great health benefits. But not all of my friends were as lucky. Many of them graduated and couldn’t find a full-time job or a job that offered health care coverage. They became uninsured and unable to afford the care they needed to stay healthy.
Luckily, my friends have the perfect gift for their moms this Sunday: the ability to stay insured.
Because of health care reform, children up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health care plan as long as their own employer does not offer health benefits. What a relief for mothers across the country! No more worrying about that two month crunch to find a job, or the need to have their child stay in school simply to receive health insurance. Children don’t even need to be living at home to stay on their parents’ plan. They can maintain access to the medical care they need, during one of the most uncertain times of their life.
So for all you young adults out there with mothers like mine – who hate traditional gifts and only want promises that your future is taken care of – you now have the perfect gift. You won’t need to wrap it or even worry that it won’t come in time, because it is already here. Over 150,000 young adults in New York have gained coverage because of this provision, and you can be one of them too.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
For more information about how moms benefit from health care reform, visit Countdown to Coverage or the Coverage Checklist: Moms and Our Families. Also check out our Twitter and Tumblr for pictures of moms & kids who love the benefits they get from health care reform!