Real People, Real Stories

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Mary’s Story

Mary- Bellingham, WA When Mary’s son was diagnosed with HIV, they didn’t know what to do or where to turn for help. She was worried for her son, who was only 19 at the time of his diagnosis. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there is a very effective…
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Shayne’s Story

Shayne- Renton, WA Growing up, Shayne had access to health coverage through Medicaid. When she turned 18, her health coverage ended. She went the next 15 years without any health insurance. Shayne struggled with drug addiction for many years, and was unable to afford health insurance that covered treatment programs.
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Renae’s Story

Renae- Bellingham, WA Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) saved Renae’s life. Even after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, she didn’t have insurance or a primary care physician. Renae had no idea how to manage it, and rarely had the medications she needed. Without insurance, her insulin prescriptions were easily $800 per…
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Jose’s Story

Jose- Everett, WA Many people have turned to community navigators such as Jose of Community Health Centers of Snohomish County to help them find the best coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. Jose is one of hundreds of navigators around the state who have been trained to help people find quality health…
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Roger’s Story

Roger- Kennewick, WA Roger lost his arm in an industrial accident in 1991. While the injury was devastating, Roger returned to work after a year of recovery with a prosthesis. However, declines in the printing industry slashed his annual income and eventually his job was eliminated. When Roger…
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Shelley’s Story

Shelley- Snohomish, WA In 2002, Shelley and her husband did not have health insurance. They attended a health fair that provided low-cost blood work, including PSA [prostate cancer screen] testing. Her husband’s PSA test came back with extremely high numbers. The next two years of testing and treatment wiped all…
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Sacha’s Story

Sacha- Bellingham, WA When Sacha and her husband divorced, she struggled to rebuild a new life for herself, find a job and earn a modest living. Last year she was laid off from her job, and lost her health insurance. After researching her options, Sacha enrolled in Washington Apple Health…
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Shylo’s Story

Shylo- Davenport, WA Shylo moved to Washington to live closer to her family when she was pregnant with her son. She qualified for health coverage, due to her pregnancy. Later, when the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2014, Shylo was eligible for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) for Adults, which…
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Ashleigh’s Story

Ashleigh- Olympia, WA Ashleigh and her partner moved to Olympia for a fresh start. It was a chance to find better jobs, be closer to family, and move away from the small town she grew up in. Ashleigh managed to get part time jobs working for multiple retailers, but all…
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Mike’s Story

Mike- Burien, WA Mike is now retired after 40 years in the IT industry. Since his retirement, he’s been able to find affordable coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder since he is not yet eligible for Medicare. Watch more stories on our YouTube channel.