L.F. never expected to be laid off at the age of 57. Retirement was not an option for her, so she took a position with AmeriCorps as a reading tutor in St. Paul Public Schools. She found great joy in working with the kids, but just sitting on the ground to read with them took a huge physical toll on her. She found out she needed a total hip replacement.
At the time, L.F. had no good options. The minimal coverage she got through AmeriCorps wouldn’t cover the surgery she needed, and when she looked for other plans, she found that her condition made her uninsurable. “I applied for a plan with a $10,000 deductible and still no one would cover me,” she remembers.
L.F.’s pain grew worse over time, though she managed to cope with it. “I loved what I was doing so much there was no way I was going to stop doing it,” she says. But when her AmeriCorps position ended last year, she hit her breaking point. “I started to look for work and I just realized I couldn’t do more than walk to the bus stop and get on the bus. I realized I wasn’t even able to work anymore.”
L.F. heard that Planned Parenthood was helping people enroll in health insurance under the new law. She got connected with Mary Jo, PPMNS’ Lead Navigator, who “was so knowledgeable and so accommodating,” L.F. says. Together, they found a plan with a premium of $442 a month and a deductible of $1,000—a huge deal compared to the prohibitive $1,200 a month it would have cost L.F. to get coverage through her husband’s insurance.
On January 1, L.F.’s new health insurance went into effect. And on January 21, she had a successful total hip replacement. Recovering well after her surgery, L.F. shared two things she’s looking forward to. Number one: visiting her brand new grandson in Texas. Number two: she can’t wait to get back to work.