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Alive because of the Affordable Care Act

When I was diagnosed in 2007 with HIV, I was a home owner working three different jobs. None of my employers offered health insurance, and I was told by the case manager that I should quit at least one of my jobs (and lose my home) in order to qualify for Medicaid. I didn't see that as a viable option, and luckily I was able to get on my partners insurance plan and receive excellent medical care. But when that relationship ended, so did my access to affordable health coverage. Luckily, the Affordable Care Act was already in motion and I was able to get insurance through Physicians Health Plan this past February (after a 6-month waiting period). Now the State of Michigan is switching to the national program, called PCIP (Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan). For people living with conditions such as HIV, this allows us to continue to LIVE our lives without resorting to such tactics as suggested by that (well-meaning) case worker. If you or a loved one have a pre-existing condition, visit https://www.pcip.gov. It could truly save your life.
—ShawnMI
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