When you’re young, health insurance is hardly a priority. But for Sarah Adkins, 25, it was a lifesaver.
Because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that enables young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26, Adkins received health coverage just as her kidney was shutting down from an untreated kidney stone.
She hadn’t been able to find a full-time job with benefits after graduating from college nearly two years earlier. Without health insurance, the freelance graphic designer had avoided treatment for her chronic kidney stones — even painfully trying to pass a stone herself in a moment of desperation.
After the Affordable Care Act took effect in September 2010, Adkins was able to go on her father’s plan and have emergency kidney surgery. “The doctor told me my kidney was shutting down and if I continued to avoid treatment, I could have died. I was only 24,” she said.