After 35 years of teaching elementary and middle school students, Shirley, 57, of Center, CO, decided to retire after the 2013 school year so she could spend more time with her family and grandkids. “Immediately, I thought of insurance – the district had been paying for it. I was totally stressed about being insured.”

Shirley made an appointment with a certified Health Coverage Guide. “With the help of the guide, I found something reasonable,” she says. With $242 in tax credits, Shirley also signed up for a dental plan – and still saved about $140 a month compared to what her COBRA health plan alone would have cost.

“It is such a benefit to sit with somebody on a one-to-one basis to go over plans. I got all my questions answered; all my paperwork was completed before I walked out the door. I hugged the individual who helped me because I was so excited that I would soon have health coverage! It’s exciting to know I have insurance that will allow me to live within my means.”