Farm work is by no means safe work. Physical demands, heavy machinery, sharp tools, and other unexpected dangers are inevitable risks on operations of all sizes. Those without health insurance are nagged by the thought of how much a mistake could cost, both physically and financially. Such was the case with Jimmy Dula, a young farm manager in the Basalt area. But all that changed for Jimmy with the arrival of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“The ACA provides me with a peace of mind that I previously considered out of reach. For the first time, I have a primary care physician who I like, I can afford annual physicals and preventive care, and I can maintain my health rather than only seek medical attention when I’m sick.” In 2015, after three years without health insurance, Jimmy qualified for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit through Connect for Health Colorado, making health insurance finally affordable. – Excerpt from the National Farmers Union’s “Beginning Farmers Column”
Howard Paul wanted to make photography his full-time occupation but was tied to his job as executive director with an emergency first responders association because it offered health coverage. Having health insurance was driving his choice of how to earn a living. But that issue was resolved for Howard in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act made it possible for him to purchase his own, affordable health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. As a result, Howard Paul Photography for Communication and Commerce is now a Colorado success story.
Having this health insurance not only allowed Howard to make photography his full-time business, it may help save his life. In 2016, Howard was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Knowing his treatments and medications are covered, allows him to concentrate on getting well, instead of worrying about a financial hardship. “Without health insurance I can afford through Connect for Health Colorado, treatment would be nearly impossible. Odds are I would become bankrupt, possibly homeless, even dead.” said Howard.
Darla, a retired shipping office clerk from Delta, got more than she bargained for during a trip to Greeley to visit her cousin. Running a high fever one evening, Darla went to an Urgent Care facility and was then rushed to the emergency room where doctors diagnosed her with sepsis, an extreme response to infection which can be life-threatening.
It took a month in a Greeley hospital to treat the infection and follow-up treatments in Grand Junction to amputate several toes. At the end of the day, Darla racked up over $1,000,000 in medical bills, enough to bankrupt most people. Fortunately, Darla had coverage she found through Connect for Health Colorado’s Marketplace allowing her to keep her home, her assets and her health!
Living off of a fixed income, Darla’s coverage is only affordable with the help of monthly tax credits, made possible through the Affordable Care Act. Having just signed up for her 2017 coverage, Darla took the important step of protecting her health and finances for the coming year.