By Busta Brown
The greatest gift giver of all is God. Our greatest gift is Jesus. So, as we approach Christmas this coming Saturday, remember the most important gift is love and family.
As some of you may know, I lost two phenomenal and beautiful women in my life due to health issues. December 2020 I lost my mother. And that following February 2021, I lost my sister. This will be my second holiday season without going home to see my mother and the first without seeing my sister. I thank God that both had health insurance, because it did extend our time on earth together. But of course, forever is the only amount of time that’s long enough to be with the ones we love dearly.
I’m also a type 2 diabetic, and there’s rarely a day that goes by without me thinking about how expensive my medical bills would be if I didn’t have medical benefits through my job. I want to be around to see the amazing things my children are going to do. If I didn’t have health care, I might not have been here to spend time with my children and grandchildren this Christmas. Nor could I afford the doctor visits or medicines to treat my type 2 diabetes.
There are millions of people like me, over 50 with pre-existing health conditions. I believe we must think beyond just holidays and celebrations to spend time with those we love. I pray that this article will help guide you in the right direction, so that you can find health care that works best for you. Like Patti Labelle says, “Somebody loves you, baby.”
Meet my Person of the Week, Marjorie Rorie. She’s a business woman and the marketing coordinator for SMSi Healthy Living Solutions. Marjorie said when local business SMSi Healthy Living Solutions approached her to help them with marketing to get the word out about Marketplace healthcare coverage through the Affordable CARE Act (ACA), she jumped at the opportunity because she truly knows its value.
Rorie said, “Through the years, healthcare costs have skyrocketed out of range for most of us.” She was surprised to find that the average cost of a three-day hospital stay is around $30,000, and that treatment for a broken leg can cost up to $7,500. As a self-employed businessperson and former insurance agent, she has always encouraged everyone she knows to get life and health insurance through the Affordable CARE Act. She has the same coverage for her family.
In August of this year, she encouraged a friend to get the Affordable Care Act health care insurance. He was self-employed and like many self-employed business people, he did not have health insurance. Marjorie said SMSi Healthy Living Solutions worked with her friend to get him the best plan. “He was amazed at the affordable price of not only health insurance, but dental and vision care as well. Unfortunately, two months later, he suffered a series of strokes while recovering from COVID-19. Today, he can barely talk and is fed through a tube in his stomach,” shared Marjorie.
I truly believe that God may have led Marjorie to help her friend to get health insurance. “I am glad I pushed him to get covered,” she said.
I also spoke with my oldest sister Constance Brown, who is a health insurance agent in Atlanta, Georgia. My big sis shared a story about one of her clients. “She was bitten by some kind of insect. When she went to the doctor, she couldn’t afford the medicine he prescribed, nor could she afford to go back for a second doctor’s visit. The insect bite had gotten infected and was extremely painful. My client’s nine-year-old granddaughter would have to clean the (wound) for her, because she could barely move. Because of the Affordable Care Act, she was able to get the treatment she needed, the infection is gone, and she’s back on her feet.”
Marjorie shared a story given by Sandra Miller-Jones, founder and CEO of Healthy Living Solutions in Winston-Salem. “My primary reason I’m pleased to be involved with the ACA is that it gives me an opportunity to help so many people. I recalled a story about a 34-year-old man who needed a kidney transplant. Before the ACA, his pre-existing condition could not be covered by health insurance. However, with the ACA, he received his kidney transplant and is doing well on his job,” shared Jones.
Lafayette Jones, managing partner of SMSi Healthy Living Solutions and Urban Call publisher, has worked with the ACA for several years, since it was initiated by the Obama administration. He told Marjorie, “I have personally seen the joy in thousands of people who are now insured because the ACA made health insurance more affordable.”
Marjorie said SMSi Healthy Living Solutions has partnered with several organizations to help people find health coverage that protects them from high, unexpected costs. She said they will help you compare plans and find out what your costs will be before you enroll. You’ll likely qualify for savings, even if you haven’t before.
Goler Community Development Corporation (CDC) has also made it one of its goals over the past several years to assist Forsyth County residents with health insurance coverage. “We have collaborated with SMSi Urban Call Marketing on the Affordable Care Act education and enrollment initiatives to provide ACA information and enrollment assistance to Forsyth County’s underserved African American and Hispanic residents,” said Michael Suggs, CEO of Goler CDC. As marketing coordinator, Marjorie wanted to add that Suggs is glad to be on the team whose investment in helping consumers, especially those in underserved communities, demonstrates a clear commitment to connect families to health coverage to help reduce health disparities.
During these times of COVID and it’s uncertainties, it’s extremely important to get connected to people like my Person of the Week, Marjorie Rorie. To learn more about how to enroll in coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, call SMSi Healthy Living Solutions at 336-759-7477 or email SMSipartners@nullsmsi-net.com.
Call today, OPEN ENROLLMENT ends January 15, 2022.