Access to affordable health coverage allows Nevadans a chance to chart their own paths. (Getty Images)
Working for yourself has any number of perks, like having the freedom to follow your passion and controlling your own schedule. Unfortunately, there is also the fear of being on your own, and of being able to take care of yourself and those you love.
The one question that loomed over me every day as I left the traditional workforce was, “Will I be able to afford health insurance?” I used to dread going to the doctor purely because of what it might cost. The fear of not having the coverage or the money to address whatever the doctor said is a terrifying feeling. And right now, with around 13.3% of working Nevadans without health insurance, I know others across the state share this same fear.
This is just one reason I’m thankful for access to an affordable and accessible health plan through Nevada Health Link, the state’s health insurance marketplace for qualified health and dental plans. Access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage eliminates that fear and allows thousands of Nevadans like me to have the flexibility and freedom to chart our own path while still having the peace of mind to see a doctor as needed.
Like all plans offered through Nevada Health Link, my plan includes the 10 essential health benefits. This means coverage for emergency services, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health care, and so much more.
Along with 90% of consumers who shop on the Exchange, thousands of Nevadans like me are also eligible to receive federal financial tax credits to help bring down the cost of monthly plans. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act—and the Inflation Reduction Act which extended these subsidies—Nevadans have access to these tax credits for three more years.
These subsidies have made it possible for thousands of Nevadans to afford health insurance and are a lifeline for self-employed people like me.
Expanding health insurance access to Nevadans is crucial. When people aren’t scared to see the doctor because of the cost, preventative care becomes more accessible and more effective. And the healthier our state and our community become, the more we all benefit.
For years I have used a local community navigator, a free service that makes selecting the best plan for me and my budget easy. After seven years of having a plan through the Exchange, I can now work without succumbing to the crippling fear of receiving a surprise medical bill in the mail or avoiding the doctor.
Anyone who is uninsured or self-employed should consider finding a plan on the Exchange, but time is running out. Open Enrollment on NevadaHealthLink.com ends on January 15 at 11:59 p.m. and this is one of the only times uninsured Nevadans can freely shop the marketplace.
Taking care of your health and getting insured is a choice, but it shouldn’t be one that is made for you because health care is unaffordable. Thankfully, our Exchange ensures affordable coverage for thousands of Nevadans, including self-employed Nevadans like me.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.