How the United Way Healthcare Navigators Program helped Yulisa Recinos
The process of finding affordable, high-quality health insurance can be daunting and intimidating, but people don’t have to go through it alone. The United Way Healthcare Navigator Program is ready to answer questions about how health insurance works and how to sign up on HealthCare.gov. They can even assist you during the application process for both Medicaid and Denali KidCare. The story of Yulisa Recinos is a testament to the effectiveness of the program. In an interview, Recinos shared her initial struggles with the complexities of health insurance: “My initial experience with seeking health insurance was unnavigable. I had no clue where to begin or that health insurance was available for anyone, even if it doesn’t come through work benefits.”
Following an ACL injury (a tear in the ligament of the knee), she found herself grappling with medical bills and a lack of insurance, unaware that help was available. Yulisa discovered the Healthcare Navigator Program after a visit to the Emergency Room and learned about grants at Providence Hospital for individuals without medical insurance: “I did not qualify but the director of the office was kind enough to give me the information for the Healthcare Navigator Program, where I met Jennifer. The director knew I had a long recovery ahead, and it would be really expensive, and I had no way of working, unfortunately, in the meantime. She helped me and was so kind!”
Now working in Physical Therapy, Yulisa emphasized the intricacies of insurance plans, noting, “There is lots going on behind your insurance. Depending on who it is, you have only a certain number of visits a year, sometimes making it very difficult for patients that need more than others. Also, informing our patients how their insurance works can be complicated.” Recinos noted that this was one of the benefits of the Navigator program: “The Healthcare Navigator program helped me understand which plan best fitted my needs. I needed a plan that had a low out-of-pocket for my surgery. They completely helped me weigh my options,” she added.
Yulisa emphasized the program’s accessibility, sharing, “I was able to communicate with the Healthcare navigator through a phone call.” Offering advice to others seeking health insurance, she urged them not to be afraid to ask questions, assuring that the navigators are “super kind and willing to help answer any concerns.” As Yulisa recounted her positive experience with the Healthcare Navigator Program, it became evident that the program played a pivotal role in guiding her from uncertainty to empowerment during a challenging period.
With the interview as a backdrop, it’s important to note the ongoing Special Enrollment Period at HealthCare.gov. As open enrollment for 2024 health insurance concluded on January 16th, the Special Enrollment Period offers an extended opportunity for those who qualify due to life events such as losing health coverage, changes in household status, or changes in residence. If any of these events has occurred in your life this year, you may qualify for a special enrollment. United Way healthcare navigators can help you determine if you qualify. Contact a navigator by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-478-2221, or text GETCOVEREDAK to 898-211 for free assistance. Interpreter services are available.
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