GUEST COMMENTARY: Time to sign up for heath care

By RAHSHEEN TABORN

Get ready Pima Community College – it’s time to enroll in health insurance. My name is Rahsheen Taborn and I am the student government president at Pima’s Downtown Campus. I have been working with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group.

If you are like most students I talk to, you have a lot of questions about health care. It often seems easier to do nothing than to do something. Don’t let your questions get in the way of getting the coverage you need. It is affordable. Read on.

First, why have health insurance? If you don’t have coverage and you get into an accident you could face thousands and thousands of dollars in bills. Couple this with student loans and well you could be facing a lot of debt when leaving PCC.

If you don’t have coverage you might not find out about a health condition you have until it is harder and more costly to treat. Coverage not only provides peace of mind but also can make sure you get any prescriptions you need. And no longer can you be denied for having a pre-existing condition.

OK on to affordability. Despite what you may have heard or think, health insurance is now very affordable – particularly for college students. While health insurance costs depend on your specific financial situation and medical needs, individuals in Arizona earning $16,000 a year or less are likely to qualify for AHCCCS, and individuals earning $40,000 a year or less are likely to qualify for financial assistance in the health insurance marketplace.

To make it even easier to learn about health insurance and to assist in the enrollment process, student government on the downtown campus is partnering with the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and its colleagues. We know that students don’t want slick salespeople who stand to make a profit from the insurance they choose.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and members of the Cover Arizona Coalition, which includes the Pima Community Access Program and others, will be on the Downtown Campus on Nov. 19 and 20 speaking with students at a table and in classrooms. I will be participating with Chancellor LEE Lambert and these organizations at a news conference to let individuals in Tucson know about our efforts.

On Nov. 21, you can come to the Downtown Campus and get enrolled. Best to set up an appointment through coveraz.org/connector<http://coveraz.org/connector>

For those new to health insurance or for individuals seeking a refresher, I have found the Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s guide “So You Need Health Insurance. Now What?” very helpful.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund guide is available at arizonapirgedfund.org and contains definitions of common health insurance terms, helps you navigate your options, and provides the know-how needed to make an informed decision.

For example did you know that young adults have additional options, which include staying on your parents’ plan until you are 26?

I encourage members of the PCC community to learn about your health insurance options and get covered. You can apply for AHCCCS any time and the Health Insurance Marketplace opened on Nov. 15. #Getcovered

Rahsheen Taborn
Pima Community College Downtown Campus
Student Government President

Filed Under: Opinion

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