December 27, 2013

Regarding the Dec. 25 front-page article “ ‘Young invincibles’ are a tougher sell”:

I am a 28-year-old who exercises relentlessly and diets meticulously. I attend Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Law and I work at FIU’s Health Law and Policy Clinic, which assists the underprivileged with servicesthat include accessing public benefits and resolving unpaid medical debts.  

A few weeks ago, I was hit by a car while bicycling home from campus. Fortunately, I had only a bruised rib and a few cuts and scrapes, but if the scenario had played out differently, I could have ended up in the shoes of those I help: without insurance and with tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid bills for necessary emergency medical treatment. After my close call, I took an hour or so with my mother and enrolled in a health insurance plan that will begin covering me Jan. 1.

Accidents happen. The “invincible” mind-set lends itself to increased physical activity and increased risk. Take it from someone who has worked for those whose lives have been destroyed because of mountains of medical debt: Health insurance must be looked at as an investment in yourself and your future. Peace of mind and security make pursuing a life of invincibility a little less daunting.  

Allan Zullinger, Miami