The health care law, the Affordable Care Act, is giving young people like Steven Giallourakis, a bass player, pianist and two-time cancer survivor from Cleveland, the tools they need to fight for their health. At the same time, Steven’s mom Angie has peace of mind that her son is getting the care he needs to stay healthy.
Steven’s story started when he was 15 in 2003 and doctors discovered a tumor on his spine. Steven has since survived surgery and chemotherapy for Stage 4 Osteosarcoma and a bone marrow transplant for Secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. He’s cancer free now, but the resulting chronic health problems have made it very difficult for him to continue on as a full-time student.
Thanks to the provision of the law allowing young adults to stay under their parent’s plans, Steven, 21 years old, has the peace of mind that he can still have health insurance through his father’s plan at work. The law allows for young adults to be covered under their parents’ insurance up to the age of 26. Since the law was enacted, Steven and 2.5 million other young adults have been able to get health insurance coverage through their parents’ plan.
The Affordable Care Act also bars low annual and lifetime caps on the amount that insurance companies would pay for care.
Additionally, starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act makes it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against anyone for pre-existing conditions, like Steven’s chronic health issues resulting from the cancer.
Says Steven: “Knowing I can go to the hospital and not have to worry about paying some massive bill that I am not going to be able to afford, it’s a huge relief.”
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