Last call for Obamacare

There is less than a week left before the enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ends. Those who qualify for the federal expansion of health care coverage have a few days to decide whether to enroll or be ready to pay a penalty that equals 1% of their annual income.

It should not be hard to decide between having medical insurance—at a subsidized cost for those with low incomes—in case of illness or accident, and paying a penalty and basically not having coverage for any issue that requires medical attention.

One of the main reasons for the ACA, or Obamacare, is making sure that medical bills that result from an accident or illness are no longer one of the main reasons for individual bankruptcy—a financial failure whose negative repercussions will continue even after the patient recovers.

Getting health insurance is a matter of personal responsibility, as well as acting responsibly toward their own children, family and loved ones. Undocumented adults should not be afraid to have members of their family register for ACA coverage. On the contrary, they should encourage their loved ones’ well-being, since the information is confidential and won’t be provided to immigration authorities.

Young adults should stop believing that they are invincible and that their money will be better spent on something other than health care coverage. In the best of cases, they will be spending money on penalties in exchange for nothing; in the worst of cases, an illness or accident will remind them that they made a bad decision.

Much has been written about Obamacare. In reality, it is a unique opportunity to obtain the peace of mind of having access to a doctor. The other option is to ignore it, pay a penalty and pray not to get sick or hurt during the year. Don’t be irresponsible. Register if you can.