When Christine started having abdominal pain, she wondered if her family history of heart problems was catching up with her. Without health insurance, she decided it would cost too much money to go see a doctor. So for two months, Christine bore her unknown pain and continued life as best she could as a mother of three and Lincoln Public Schools substitute teacher. Her breaking point was an excruciating three hour trip to Sioux Falls to take her disabled son to see his doctor. When she finally went to a hospital, the doctors let her know half her stomach had been eaten away by an ulcer and she would have had days to live without care.
After a $10,000 medical bill, some donated prescriptions, and negotiated charity care, Christine is living without pain. Luckily, a friend told her to make a free appointment to visit a Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department enrollment assister. She was skeptical. She’d always thought requiring everyone in the US to have insurance forced tough decisions between things like food on the table and premiums. However, when she got through the doors and walked through the plans at healthcare.gov, she was convinced.
Christine and her daughter are now covered through a Medica health insurance plan that covers prescription drugs, doctor visits, and other things everyone needs to be healthy. She credits a lot to Serena Reeves, her enrollment assister, noting, “She got us an awesome plan.” It offers not only a large network of providers but also some peace-of-mind that had been sorely missing for a long time.
Christine’s story of care is typical. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Nebraskans putting off needed health care because of costs. It took Christine months of pain to take a look at the marketplace to find out if she is eligible for help paying for monthly costs of health insurance. We hope you can take a look sooner.
The deadline to enroll for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2019 is Saturday, December 15th, 2018. Visit HealthCare.gov to see plans or enroll-ne.org/local (or call 2-1-1) to be referred to an enrollment assister near you.