One of the first provisions in the Affordable Care Act to take effect extended health insurance coverage to young adults up to age 26 under their parent's coverage. Since it went into effect in September 2010, 2.5 million young people have gained coverage, even if they are not students or married.
Medical technician and Executive VP of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Tee McClenty has seen the value of the law first hand: her son is one of the more than 2.5 million young adults who has gained coverage under the law.
"When I opened the envelope I was stunned by what I read. It was a letter from my husband's health insurance company. They had dropped my 19-year-old son from our policy because he was no longer a full-time student.
"I'd heard about the new Affordable Care Act that extended coverage for older children so I called the insurance company. The agent didn't know anything about it, but after a few phone calls back and forth, the company said that I was right, and they added our son back onto the policy.
"I felt like I'd had a small victory. And imagine my relief a few months later when my son broke his wrist and needed a bone graft. The $30,000 bill was covered by our policy. I was so grateful for the new healthcare law."
The Affordable Care Act is a godsend to families like the McClentys of West St. Paul, Minnesota.
When their son was dropped from their insurance policy Tee McClenty worked as a medical technician in a hospital emergency room, her husband at the local grocers. They were making ends meet but could not risk an unexpected medical bill, let alone a bill for $30,000. With their son covered under the Affordable Care Act, the McClentys can breathe a little easier.
As the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, the nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers of SEIU are sharing their stories from the front lines of how the law is helping their patients and their families.