Enrolling one person in health insurance can be complicated enough, but try enrolling your whole family.
“And we’re a big family,” explains Project Access NOW client Diane, “like multiple-mini-vans-to-take-a trip-together’ big. Managing health insurance for all of us gets overwhelming fast.”
That’s why Diane and her husband Richard started to get nervous when, after assuming legal guardianship of their newborn grandchild, Jeremiah, they learned that Richard’s recent change in income meant Jeremiah, wouldn’t qualify for health insurance under the Oregon Health Plan. Unable to afford the private health insurance they would now have to purchase not only for their grandbaby but for Richard and several other family members who also lost OHP-coverage with Richard’s change in income, Diane and her husband begged the Oregon Health Authority to help them find a solution. Luckily, they directed the family to Project Access NOW and our Certified Healthcare Application Counselor, Katia.
“Katia was amazing,” says Diane, recalling how Katia helped organize their application materials to reapply for coverage for their entire family, resulting finally in OHP coverage for nearly every dependent in Diane and Rich’s home. “She took a step back from Rich and Jeremiah’s situation, and instead, approached our family’s coverage holistically. In our last meeting, when Katia told Rich that [in addition to OHP coverage for their family], he personally qualified for help paying his private health insurance premiums [through Project Access NOW’s Premium Assistance program], he cried a little, right there in the office.”
“Scenes like that are why I do this job,” says Katia, “the gratitude people feel when you are able to help. That’s what makes my day.”
“Thank you Katia and thank you Project Access NOW,” says Diane, “you were there when we needed you most. We are grateful.”