LaNika from Michigan

Posted January 15, 2014
By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Health and Human Services

Greetings from the Great State of Michigan. I just had a wonderful visit with Mayor Mike Duggan here in Detroit who told me about his plans to re-energize the push to get uninsured Detroiters covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace – and he’s been in office for only a couple of weeks!

While I was there, I had the chance to meet some dedicated community leaders and health care providers who are working with Mayor Duggan on a joint strategy.

I also had the opportunity to meet LaNika Wise. She’s a 34-year-old young woman from Flint, who went years without insurance. “It was not a priority,” she told us.  “I was trying to find my career path.”  

But LaNika also told me how she collided with another woman in a volleyball game last month. Imagine having to go to the ER with a concussion and worrying about how you’re going to pay for it without health insurance. LaNika calls it her “aha moment.”

A week after her trip to the ER, LaNika logged onto HealthCare.gov and selected a silver plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield for less than $93 a month (thanks to the financial assistance offered through the Marketplace). She said the process was simple and took her an hour to compare plans and select the one best for her.

LaNika told me that getting her insurance card was like “a breath of fresh air.”  “I gained so much confidence when I received that card,” she said.

As soon as her insurance became effective January 1st, LaNika made an appointment for a physical. And she’s now working up a list of other appointments that she had put off because she couldn’t afford the doctor bills.

LaNika is one of the millions of Americans – including more than 75,000 Michiganders -- who have already gotten covered in the Marketplace.  If you enroll by the end of today, your coverage will begin as soon as February 1.  And if you need more time, we’ve still got you covered.  Open enrollment extends through the end of March.  

There are many ways to get covered: online at HealthCare.gov; by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325, on paper, and through an agent, broker, or issuer. You can also find in-person help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, it’s a new day for health care for Michiganders and millions of others throughout our country. Every American like LaNika who wants affordable, quality health coverage now has access to it in the Marketplace.