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Graduates Forced to Join Millions of Uninsured Americans
Date:5/23/2008

vis, both recent graduates of Southwestern University in Georgetown. McPhail, who was dropped from her parents' health insurance plan when she turned 22, received only very basic health insurance coverage from Southwestern while she was still a student.

"I got pretty sick this year and had to pay out of pocket for almost everything," McPhail said. "Paying the doctor fees for minor visits -- it adds up."

As a graduate, McPhail will receive no coverage.

"I want to jump into the creative job market or work in an art gallery," she said. "My chances of getting health insurance covered are slim. I'm afraid of getting sick again."

Travis, who spent a year teaching English in Avignon, France after graduating last year, will return to Austin soon. An asthma sufferer, Travis worries that her parents' insurance will not re-instate her because of her pre-existing condition.

"I don't know about you, but I rather enjoy the God-given right to breathe," Travis said. "I'd just better hope and pray that nothing bad happens to me."

Joey Williams, who will graduate this summer from the University of Texas at Austin, worries that he and his friends who aren't immediately able to find a job with adequate health care benefits will suffer catastrophic consequences.

"A lack of health insurance could ruin your life, literally. All it takes is one simple mishap," Williams said. "You're in the hospital loaded with an overwhelming hospital bill. Those kinds of things will actually ruin you."

McPhail also worries for her friends.

"Young adults are less likely to have costly problems, but most of us do not have the income to pay for minor costs," she said. "The problem will continue to worsen if we don't treat it now. More of us will go into debt or have a longer recovery process from illness because we waited so long for treatment."

It's time we ensure health and long-term financial security for all. That's why AARP, Business
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SOURCE AARP-Texas
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