The following is a cross-post from Disruptive Women in Healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act has changed the way many young adults think about their health. This is in part due to the fact that, according to the Commonwealth Fund, 15 million young adults are now able to stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until they are 26. Because of this, insurance has become more accessible and attainable for young adults. President Obama has even said that it will now be cheaper to get health insurance than pay your cell phone bill, an obvious appeal aimed at young adults. Regardless of the potential low cost and improved accessibility of health insurance for young adults, there are countless news stories asking “Will the young adults sign up? Will they get covered?”
Disruptive Women in Health Care is proud to focus on young, often not so invincible, adults this week in a series titled “Young Adults Should Be Invincible.”
During this series, we take back the word, “invincible.” It has become a moniker for the stubbornness of young adults yet, we believe it is important to be invincible; everyone wants to be in good health. It is a natural human instinct—we want to feel good. We want all young adults to be invincible, but more importantly we want them to realize that in order to be invincible they need to prepare for the worst, get insurance, take an active role in their health and be conscious of their role in perpetuating their own invincibility.
Many of the stories in this week’s series focus on young adults living with chronic conditions. These individuals have come to terms with the reality of their health and the fact they are far from invincible. They are constantly faced with challenges creating a relentless pursuit for stability and good health. To this end, we are going to focus on the lessons these young adults can teach us, they will share their personal stories, urge us to be invincible and overcome the challenges our bodies present us.
We believe these are the young adults we need to learn from. No one is ever prepared to face a chronic condition let alone someone who believes they are invincible.
These young adults are invincible because they have triumphed in a complicated health care system, overcome overwhelming adversity and are doing all they can to help others, like you, realize the importance of one’s health. For this series, young adults living with chronic conditions, doctors and caregivers have come together to help all young adults be invincible by taking an active role in their health. The topics covered include:
- “Chronic Illness: You’re not as invincible as you think…” by Laurie Edwards
- “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor” by Dr. Kimberly Bates
- “Living on both sides of the health care equation: a doctor living with a degenerative disease” by Dr. Amy Long
- “Where do we go from here? A physician-parent caregiver’s perspective” by Dr. Santi Bhagat, MPH
We hope this series will change the way you think about your own invincibility and people living with chronic conditions. We should all strive to be more like these young adults, to be invincible, use the resources available to us to get health insurance coverage and the care we need. Personally, I always thought of myself as someone who never got sick and was invincible, however, when I was 18 that changed. During the second semester of my freshman year in college, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and since my diagnosis I have been in a seemingly constant battle to find the right treatment and to feel better. I have learned that in order to feel invincible I must take excellent care of my body and work within our health care system to find the best care available. Understanding my own invincibility was the key to improving my health, once I realized I could no longer ignore my health and the “I’ll-feel better tomorrow” mentality, I began to find my new normal.
By Alex Masi, member of Disruptive Women in Health Care’s editorial team. He is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida with degrees in Public Relations and Political Science.