Sarah, Summit County resident: “I work as a seasonal contractor, so I only have health care provided to me for six months out of the year. I just qualified for Medicaid, so we’ll see how that works out. I know a lot of people are using what they have gotten. Once they got the health care reform act and got on the website, then a lot of people have started going to the doctor more, so that’s probably a good thing.”
Margaret, Summit County resident: “Previous to doing a raw food thing, I did a retail store and had insurance, but I had a fairly large deductible so that I could afford my monthly insurance payments. After the reform when I went to a health insurance broker, my cost per month actually went up, but my deductible is less. But, being I’m pretty healthy I don’t really use that very much, so it ends up I’m kind of paying a little bit more per year.”
Thomas, Summit County resident: “Our health care costs are driven by two high cost suppliers. We don’t have any other options for it, so our costs are double what they would be in Denver.”
Corina, Summit County resident: “I think mostly people are complaining about the fact that their health insurance policies went up, and we’re in a community where health care is very expensive. We have some very expert physicians here, and so they charge what they need to. I don’t know if because of what the affordable health care requires now, they had to get a better policy. So I don’t know if that’s the reason, but I think it’s probably a combination of both. I think the fact that people are getting insurance that didn’t have insurance before—that’s a big, big benefit for our country and the people in our country. ”
Jodi, Summit County resident: “I think the general consensus from the people I’ve spoken with are they’re pretty excited about it. It’s to help people. I think something needed to be done. I don’t know exactly what or how, but I think it’s moving in the right direction, and hopefully it will go the right way, you know, work for everybody.”
Molly, Summit County resident: “I don’t understand how health insurance works exactly. I wish that I was a little bit more well-informed, because I moved here from Massachusetts. I went to do my general, annual check-up and it ended up costing me $450, even though I have health insurance.”
Lamine is an immigrant from Senegal, and a Summit County resident, who helps interpret and assist with paperwork for his community members. He shares his story of his community members being too scared of health care bills to seek out medical assistance.
Ryan, a Summit County resident: “I think it’s about time that we had a national health care system that allowed everybody equal access to health care and to quality health care. The individual mandate that requires that every single person does have health care is only in the end gonna drive down premiums because insurance companies operate on risk, and the more people that are involved in any one organization is gonna reduce risk and therefore drive down premiums.”
Donna, Summit County Resident: “It’s about time. I mean, it really is. With being self-employed, and even before when I had a business in Chicago, and I was paying for all my employees, and I would always give them health insurance and pay for it. But now you know, being out here especially, being self-employed. My husband has two part-time jobs, no health insurance. And we were lucky to find some decent health insurance. But now with the health reform, I mean, we’ve been waiting. We’ve been counting the days.”
Michelle, a public health nurse in Summit County, shares her story of a woman who died of cancer because she never had a pap smear, despite having several children.
Sarah Vaine, CEO of Summit Community Care Clinic: “Resort communities often have large socioeconomic disparities and a high cost of living. There is often an inaccurate perception of community wide affluence.”
Cody, Summit County Resident: “Right now I’m not that independent as far as my health care goes. But when I get there, I really don’t know what I’m looking for.”
Carlos, of Summit County, shares his story of breaking his neck and his subsequent care and rehabilitation.
Father Tema Nnamezie, Director of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center: “I am surprised about those who don’t want to give it a try. Especially those who don’t really have any other option.”
Jessa, Summit County resident: “The people I’ve talked to haven’t been as excited about [health reform] as you would think. I don’t think it’s a big issue either, though, for our age group. I don’t think it’s huge. We don’t really have to worry about too much going on with it right now. I imagine it will be soon when we have to actually deal with it.”
Mike, Summit County resident: “I don’t think I’ve had one conversation about it since I’ve been here. If it’s not related to skiing, I don’t think I’ve talked about it. I don’t think I’ve talked about it since I’ve moved to Colorado.”
Tamara Drangstveit, Executive Director at Family and Intercultural Resource Center: “Before the marketplace went live we were incredibly optimistic. For a long time we have known that the number one causes of a financial crisis for the families we work with is an unexpected medical bill. We’ve known that for a long time. And there just weren’t options for those families, so we were really excited. I think now we are still potentially excited about the marketplace, but the rates we have found are still unaffordable for the majority of Summit County residents.”
Juana, of Summit County, shares her story of navigating the Medicaid system after unexpected pregnancy complications.