It all began in March 2016, when a homeless man named Marcus walked into Abi’s Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He looked the cafe’s owner, Cesia Abigail, right in the eye and asked for money.
“Why don’t you have a job,” she answered, adding, “You know nothing is given to me for free right?”
The homeless man told Cesia that a job was what he wanted most in the world.
But due to his criminal record, scoring a job had proved impossible for him and he’d been forced to retreat to a life in the streets.
Marcus’s story hit Cesia right in the chest — and she immediately decided to put her money where her mouth is.
Cesia is the 20th owner of Abi’s Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
She had long fought to keep her café afloat, and it hadn’t always been easy.
When the homeless man entered her café that day, her heart ached for him. Overworked herself, she did actually need a helping hand, although she could barely afford it.
“I was short staff that day, so I asked him, “You want to work? I have a job for you! His eyes opened wide and his smile made my day!!!! He said, ‘I’ll do anything for some food.’ So now for almost two weeks, he’s been on time for his two-hour shift… helping take out trash, washing dishes etc. Once I pay him, guess what he does? He buys food from my restaurant — HE DECIDES TO PAY — because it makes him feel good!”
“With his new job, Marcus has found new confidence in himself and he’s a changed man.
Do something nice for someone today and don’t judge them just because they’re out there asking for money for we dont know their situation… some deserve another shot. God gave me this blessing so why can’t I bless others?”
- Understand your alternatives to buying individual health insurance
The cheapest purchase you’ll ever make is the one you don’t make. It’s entirely possible that you don’t have to buy individual health insurance at all. Depending on which state you live in and what your income is, you might qualify for Medicaid. You can contact your nearest Medicaid office, or go to Healthcare.gov to determine if you’re eligible (see step three below for the latter route).
If you have children, there are a couple of avenues to explore. First, many states have expanded coverage for children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To find out if your kids qualify for CHIP, go to the Medicaid CHIP website and answer the questions under “Can I Get It?”.
Second, check to see if your children might be eligible under their other parent’s coverage. Even if you’re divorced, if your former spouse has employer-provided health insurance, your children could possibly be included under their coverage.
- Know what you need and can afford
Assuming that step one doesn’t apply to you, the most important step in finding cheap health insurance is to determine exactly what you need in terms of coverage and what you can afford. If you buy more coverage than you need, you’ll spend more than you need to. And as to knowing what you can afford, you can’t spend money that you don’t have.
Under the Affordable Care Act, every individual health insurance plan must cover 10 essential health benefits. These benefits are:
- Outpatient care (doesn’t require admission to a hospital)
- Emergency room visits
- Inpatient care in a hospital
- Care before and after your baby is born
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Services/devices to help you recover from an injury or deal with a disability or chronic condition (including physical and occupational therapy)
- Lab tests
- Preventive services
- Dental care and vision care for kids
While that might seem like a pretty comprehensive list, different health insurers can vary on exactly how they cover these benefits. Think through any specific needs you might have.
- Go to Healthcare.gov
Perhaps the easiest step of all is to go to the Healthcare.gov websiteand complete an application. It’s easy, that is, if you’re doing so during an open enrollment period (the next one starts on Nov. 1) or if you have a qualifying life change. These life changes include getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage. The website, by the way, will help you find out if you have had a life change that qualifies.