Craig W. is a client of the Premium Assistance program. He lives in Tigard.
When I lost my job last year I lost my health insurance with it. I tried to pay for COBRA but it was way too expensive. I finally started working again a few months later, in a menial job, but I made $17 per month too much to qualify for Medicaid.
One day I was browsing the internet when I found an invitation to a services fair in Beaverton. Emilio from Project Access NOW gave me a lot of invaluable information and referred me to Olga. I then scheduled an appointment with her at the office, and she helped me get quickly approved for a silver plan with Providence.
Prior to going three months without health insurance, I had had coverage all my life. I needed care to manage my diabetes. It was scary to go without health insurance even for a few months. I scrambled without the safety net of health insurance. It was a rude awakening both financially and health-wise.
Project Access NOW saved me. The program allowed me to get back to a regular routine with my doctor to keep the illness arrested. I am now again blessed with a support system of a health provider without the burden of a monthly premium.
My mother was a nurse and she always taught me to be a helper bee. I got my degree to be a coach and counselor. I would have been a hospice counselor if not for an opportunity, in the early 1990s, to be a part of the Portland drug court, the nation’s second after Miami.
I feel grateful as hell to have found Project Access NOW, which is a great resource, and I want my story to help others in a similar situation.