Lisa, St. Louis County

Lisa works part-time in a family business. Her individual insurance plan doesn’t cover her health care needs. For example, she has sleep apnea and needs a new hose for the machine that helps her breathe at night. She needs a prescription to buy her equipment. However, her insurance doesn’t cover the appointment, because it’s a pre-existing condition. Over time, the slight oxygen deprivation from sleep apnea can cause serious health problems. For now, she’s just putting duct tape on the hose and hoping for the best. Fortunately, Lisa will have much better coverage, starting in February. She got a new individual plan from the Marketplace, which covers her pre-existing conditions. The plan also costs about half as much as her current plan, even though it covers more.

Lisa has other pre-existing conditions. She says, “I would be blind today if I didn’t have good insurance before.” She had a rare condition at age 23 that required retina surgery, which saved her sight. However, now, she isn’t able to go to her yearly checkups, because it’s another pre-existing condition. She also has hypothyroidism and isn’t getting the blood tests she needs every 6 months. Lisa understands the value of insurance to protect her health and protect her from financial disaster. Because she doesn’t work for a big company, she couldn’t get this protection until now.