Uninsurable: One Woman’s Journey
Imagine decades without insurance . . . For many people, it’s not hard to imagine. It’s a fact of life. Up until now, one sliding-fee-scale program patient couldn’t find an affordable option for health insurance until she met with one of the Doctors Care’s volunteer health coverage guides, Joan Degraffe.
Joan recently met with Carla, a 57-year-old woman who had experienced more than her share of health care obstacles. Carla shared her long struggle in trying to cope with mental illness. Matters were further complicated when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With two pre-existing conditions, it was nearly impossible to find and pay for health insurance.
At the request of Doctors Care volunteer provider, Dr. Widner, a breast cancer specialist and surgeon, she was able to get enrolled in the sliding-fee scale program, and connected to the care she needed at a very difficult time in her life. As a program patient urged by Doctors Care staff to go through the enrollment process, Joan and other program staff worked for hours with Carla on the Connect for Health Colorado website. At the end of the long session, Carla was overwhelmed with emotion when she realized health coverage was now possible. For the first time in 30 years, she could honestly say she saw the rays of hope.
Carla is waiting to receive her official denial letter from Medicaid before taking the next step in the process. Armed with three different plan options to consider, Carla plans to return to finalize the process on Dec. 3 when all indicators suggest Carla will indeed find affordable health care through Colorado’s Marketplace.
Doctors Care staff and volunteers consider Carla’s experience a success story. As they see it, because of Doctors Care, there is one more woman traveling toward health coverage and wellness.