“I pay a LOT of money out of pocket with no coverage.”

I interviewed Derek Jackson on the evening of May 26th in his home on Willard Street in

Kalamazoo, MI. Derek is 30 years old and has been living in Kalamazoo since he was 18 when

he moved out here for college at Western Michigan University. He was on his parent’s

healthcare until he was too old to continue. He explained to me that he hasn’t been enrolled in

healthcare since. “When I feel I need to go to a doctor, which is pretty rare, I pay a LOT of

money out of pocket with no coverage.” Derek tried to enroll a couple months ago and was

rejected. He tells me “by the time I went to try and enroll again I apparently had missed the

deadline. I didn’t know there was a deadline.” From there Derek explained that healthcare.gov

was not very helpful in informing him of when he can attempt to enroll again.

Derek and I discussed the privilege involved in his ability to navigate the internet on his

own computer to apply for health coverage. He believes that there should be “healthcare for

everybody” and recognizes that there are a large amount of people that wouldn’t know how to

use a computer or even have access to one, that should be receiving coverage. He extrapolates “if

it was difficult for me, I can’t even imagine some of the issues other people in this country are

having. He tells me that “you learn how to live well when you are educated and poor”, which is

evident in many other components of his life, but he could be living even better if he enrolled in

a health insurance plan. If it had been easier to enroll, he already would be.

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