Impatient

Helping make the health care system work for you

Affordable Care Act allows diabetic musician to dream big

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Here at Impatient, we want to hear about your experiences with the Affordable Care Act - the good, the bad, and the nitty gritty. Several of our recent posts have focused on the frustrating aspects of navigating the health insurance system. But we've also heard from folks who have had positive experiences. 

One reader recently wrote to tell us about how the Affordable Care Act has guaranteed that her diabetic daughters can access insurance coverage for the rest of their lives. Dr. Jeannie Brewer of Tarzana shared her own family's story: Two daughters – ages 22 and 12 - have Type 1 diabetes.

Nikki Lang and her sister, Lara Montero in 2012 (photo courtesy of Nikki Lang)

"No prospect" of insurance

Thanks to the federal health law, both of Brewer's diabetic daughters can now be covered under Brewer's insurance plan, until they turn 26. After they age out of Brewer's plan, the young women will be able to buy their own insurance, without worrying that they'll be denied coverage due to their preexisting condition.

"Without the ACA, my older child and younger one, when she turns 18, would have no insurance and no prospect of ever getting any," Brewer said. "They would not be able to get insulin pump supplies, or even insulin."

Brewer's older daughter, Nikki Lang, is a musician and a diabetes advocate: In 2010, she donated 100 percent of the proceeds of iTunes downloads for her song, 'Feel Better,' to the American Diabetes Association.

 

"A great sense of relief"

I reached out to Nikki to get her perspective. Before the law was implemented, she said, being a musician with a preexisting condition meant having an uncertain insurance future.

"My dad always said that in America we teach our children that they can be anything they want, if they dream big and work hard... except those with a preexisting condition," she said. "That just isn't fair. Under the old system, I would have had to marry someone with insurance or work for a company that provided it, but I could never be a musician."

"The ACA for me has been a godsend and although I recognize there are things about it that need adjustments, it has given me a great sense of relief," Nikki said.

Has having health insurance changed your life, for the better or worse? Tell us about it in the comments section, or e-mail us at Impatient@scpr.org. Your experience could inform an upcoming post.

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