NORTH BRUNSWICK - As a first-year medical school student at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Hay Darji worries a lot about his family's health.
Until last month, the 25-year-old Lumberton resident was uninsured for about a year and a half, and his parents still don't have coverage.
"I know the consequences of not being on top of routine screenings and things going unchecked," Darji said.
His father, Yogesh Darji, 53, has Type 2 diabetes, and while he tries to manage the disease as best he can, any doctor visits or emergencies that may occur mean big bills for him and his wife, Sunita Darji, 47.
"My parents are business owners, but...recently financially things have been tough, and insurance was one of the things that they had to sacrifice in order to keep things afloat with their business," Darji said.
So when Darji heard a recruitment talk by Aakash Shah, of Be Jersey Strong, a student-led grass roots movement formed to help New Jersey residents get health insurance, the message really hit home.
Soon after, Darji, who turns 26 next week, got coverage through the state's Medicaid program, NJ FamilyCare, and he signed up with Be Jersey Strong to be a co-captainat his campus in Stratford, leading student volunteers who will help people get covered when open enrollment begins Sunday.
In addition to helping the community, Darji wants to help his parents find an affordable plan that they will be willing to pay for as well.
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