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Carl’s #GetCovered Story: No Longer Gambling with His Life

carl-andersonI’m 25 years old and work for a human resources contractor in the oil and gas industry. It’s a good job, but it doesn’t come with health insurance benefits.

That really stressed me out. You see, I’m HIV+ and my 30-day supply of pills cost $1,500. I couldn’t afford that so I started rationing my pills. I didn’t know how I was going to get more.

I was gambling with my life. My medication has to be taken daily on a regular basis for it to be effective.

Fortunately, I met a person with Legacy Community Health ServicesExit Disclaimer in Houston, who understood my problem and connected me with someone who could help me sign up for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. My premium is $262 a month after tax credits. Under my plan, my $1,500 supply of pills now costs only $350, but in a stroke of good fortune, I don’t have to pay anything for the pills for the next year because of a special coupon I received.

Having access to affordable, quality health insurance is important to all Americans, especially LGBT Americans, who are disproportionately likely to be uninsured, live in poverty, and face substantial barriers to quality health care.

As a result, the LGBT community experiences significant disparities in health indicators, such as high rates of tobacco use, obesity, experiences of abuse and violence, mental and behavioral health concerns, and HIV infection.

Quality health coverage can help reduce those disparities. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, certain recommended preventive services, such as screening for HIV, depression and obesity, are covered at no-out-of pocket cost.

Check out your options for coverage that meets your needs and budget at HealthCare.gov. If you sign up by December 15, your coverage will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

You may qualify for financial assistance. More than 7 in 10 returning Marketplace customers will be able to find coverage for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits.

And if you need help or more information about how to enroll, you can contact the 24/7 call center at 1-800-318-2596, or find in-person help near you at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.

A lot of people don’t realize the resources that are there for them. Now that I have health insurance, I’m able to rest at night. I’m at a better space. I feel at ease.