Get Updates

Patient Voices Blog

  1. December 15, 2020

    I was uninsured for 2020. Here's why I chose to #getcovered.

    Never before in my life have I ever had to worry about health insurance. Then came 2020. Over Memorial Day weekend I came down with a minor infection which, while nothing serious, required me to schedule a visit with a physician and pay out-of-pocket for a round of antibiotics that came out to almost $150. In June, after I started running again, an old knee injury started to flare up, but I had to choose to forgo getting it checked to avoid extra expenses. In July, I had to cancel my dental cleaning for a second time, the first one initially canceled in April due to COVID. One morning in August, I woke up with a small fever, and fearing it might be the virus (thankfully it wasn’t), frantically looked up the price of local testing which, while intended to be free of charge, some neighbors had informed me that they had received surprise bills. By September, I worried about the cost of getting a flu shot, was down to my last few pairs of contact lenses, was overdue for my annual eye and general wellness exams and considering seeking counseling for some mild anxiety from the pandemic.

    Read More
  2. December 14, 2020

    Why Young People Need to Understand Health Insurance: Losing My Health Insurance in College and What I Learned

    Managing your health, whether it is good or bad, is a challenge, especially in college. As a first-generation college student, I struggled to navigate my way through my science degree, even with the correct medications and support system. Around my junior year of college, I lost my health insurance unexpectedly and, as a result, my clinical support system. If I was working with a patient who was going through the same thing, I would have presented them with a plan of action, outlined options available following a change-of-life event, and help them identify the steps to get covered. But when it happened to me, I couldn’t think.

    Read More
  3. November 18, 2020

    Access to Health Insurance Minimized My Healthcare Disparities

    Had Maryland opted-out of offering their residents a Marketplace option, I could have been uninsured: my income was too high to qualify for Medicaid and I couldn’t afford private insurance. Simply put, I would not have had access to healthcare, necessary screenings and essential treatments. Not having health insurance could have set my health back years and, with that, I could have suffered lifelong consequences. I was young, but youth is not a guarantee for absolute health. 

    Read More
  4. October 20, 2020

    Patient Congress 2020: Finding Community Through Advocacy

     Patient Congress was held on September 23-25, bringing together nearly 100 volunteers, advocacy partners and stakeholders virtually with Patient Advocate Foundation and NPAF staff for a range of interactive sessions focused on community advocacy and engagement

    Read More
  5. June 19, 2020

    Let My Story Be a Reminder

    I had to search for his advanced care documents after he passed. What I found was paperwork showing that he had cashed out all his retirement while waiting the 3 years it took to get approved for Social Security Disability. I found credit card statements with thousands of dollars of debt on them, one still with my Mom on it. Also, documents that needed to be sent in for life insurance to be given to my sister and me, signed, sealed, stamped ready to go. But, they were never mailed, just lying in his file of other unorganized paperwork.

    Read More
  6. June 12, 2020

    Relationships and Resources in Care Planning

    I recently celebrated my seventy-fifth birthday with family. While some of the celebration was virtual, some of the family were able to visit me. During this time, the conversation turned to the present situation of Covid-19. It was a perfect time to discuss care planning with my children, grandchildren and even in the presence of my great grandchild. I have given my backup person, as well as my alternate backup person, copies of my wishes and I remind them to refer to the forms that I have given them. Sometimes I can see the reaction of my bringing it up again. I assure them that is important to my wellness and to decrease their level of anxiety in the event they have to share my wishes and requests in making decisions.

    Read More