I’ll never forget when my husband finally landed a good job that included health insurance. Both of us, for the first time in almost 4 years, went to every doctor imaginable to make sure we were OK. I remember apologizing to the dentist because it had been 4 years since my last cleaning!
When we graduated college back in 2003 and 2004, no one told me that as soon as I turned 22 the following summer I’d be booted from my parents’ healthcare plan. No one told me I’d spend the next few years trying to follow my dreams of working in the film industry and arts, while saying a little prayer each day that nothing happened to me because we didn’t have insurance.
Life after college is stressful enough, but the added fear of getting hurt and not being covered put unnecessary strain and urgency on the job search. And then, my fears were realized.
In the spring of 2005 I had an infection that required a visit to the ER. It was a last resort and I made my condition worse by waiting until I absolutely had to go. And between the ER visit and Doctor’s appointments, we racked up another thousand dollars in debt on top of our $100,000+ of school loans. I suppose at that point, $1,000 is a drop in the bucket. But at the time, it felt like a slap in the face.
It’s because of our struggles that I was so absolutely relieved and ecstatic to see Healthcare Reform pass. Not only will millions more Americans finally have access to the care they deserve, but college students that are currently on their parent’s healthcare plan will be able to stay on as dependents until the age of 26!
This is crucial reform, because as I’ve learned, and many of my fellow college grads have experienced, the first five years after college are tough enough without having to worry about healthcare. College grads should be focused on giving back to their communities and finding their path in the world.
Looking for jobs, organizing finances, finding a place to call home, and adjusting to adult life are all-consuming tasks that take time and effort. It’s so important that graduates have these extra few years of health coverage so that they can focus more intently on becoming the person they need to be!
Learn more about the details of Healthcare Reform here.
Article by Raeanne Wright.
Raeanne was the founder of College Aftermath and has been writing about surviving the post-college experience since graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Film and Animation. Now working successfully as a freelance web designer, she’s happy to report that the curveballs she was thrown during those first few years out of college made her stronger, smarter, and ultimately led to a much more fulfilling career path.