Getting Covered, With Help From An Ally

While preparing to move to New York from Colorado this past summer, 32-year-old Joanna P. called the CSS Navigator Network to learn about her health insurance options in New York.  Aware that her coverage through Colorado’s “pre-existing condition” health insurance  plan (PCIP) would end when she left the state, she was eager to figure out how to get  coverage in New York.  Joanna had just missed the deadline to apply for New York’s PCIP and was reminded by CSS volunteers that new options were available starting in 2014 through the NY State of Health.

Once in Manhattan, Joanna met with CSS Navigator Diane Spicer, who walked her through her new options on the NY State of Health marketplace.  “Diane’s help was a life-saver,” said Joanna, whose job in the city does not offer coverage.  “She went through the plans with me point by point, explaining anything I didn’t understand.  Enrolling wasn’t difficult because I had an ally.”

Diane added, “We found out that Joanna qualifies for Advanced Premium Tax Credits, which lowered her premium; she’s also eligible for Cost-Sharing Reductions that reduce a Silver-level plan's annual deductible from $2,000 to $250."  After reviewing her choices, Joanna selected a Silver-level plan that would cost her $64 a month.

Joanna described her new coverage this way: “I literally asked Diane, ‘Is this for real?’ I just can’t imagine paying $64 dollars a month to be able to go to the doctor when I need to. I have a bigger provider network, dental coverage I didn’t have before…I’m getting chills! It’s amazing.”

“The media coverage has been so confusing,” she added. “I’m glad I had someone to bounce questions off of.   I’ve been telling my friends: ‘Call CSS. Enroll, go for it! It’s real, it’s affordable, and you can get help figuring out your options.'”   Joanna also expressed how being insured impacts her new life as a New Yorker: “It adds to that feeling of security and stability, with moving to a new city, and life in general.”

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