Cathy LaRowe was born and raised in Angola, Indiana. She now lives with her family in DeKalb County, where they have a 30-acre farm in Waterloo. Cathy had an office job until that company shut down in 2008. At the same time, her mother’s health began to fail and Cathy decided to help her parents, who lived in Angola.
Because she didn’t get healthcare coverage from an employer, Cathy knew how to navigate the individual insurance market. She had secured health insurance on her own for several years. In 2014 when the Affordable Care Act health exchanges were up and running, she got health insurance through the Marketplace. At first, it was fine. But in the second year of coverage, her family’s premium went up and it was no longer affordable. Fortunately, in 2015 Cathy and her husband found Brightpoint and Jessica Conrad.
Jessica is a Licensed Indiana Navigator with Covering Kids and Families of Brightpoint. This program provides free help to individuals and families so they can understand and enroll in state and federal health insurance programs. Navigators, like Jessica, assist at all points in the enrollment process and work with consumers after approval to maintain and utilize their coverage.
And that ‘s just what Cathy and her family needed – help figuring it all out. Jessica assisted the LaRowe family and they have returned each year to reapply. However, in December 2017, they hit a roadblock. Cathy and her husband had been on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and came in for their annual redetermination. Since they are farmers, the paperwork for their income is a bit different than the average consumer. Jessica helped get al their necessary forms turned in, but the family was still terminated from coverage.
When Jessica inquired about the denial, she was told they were terminated for being over-income. She was positive that the LaRowes were eligible. Jessica and her manager, Amanda Chappell, reviewed the paperwork and kept fighting the termination.
After multiple inquiries spanning three months, and a lot of follow-up work, Amanda copied the policy from the state of Indiana’s manual and asked them to review and explain the reason for termination one more time. The State sent the case to a policy review team who determined that they had miscalculated the income and rescinded the denial. The LaRowe family was approved and had no gaps in their coverage.
“Jessica was right there for us. She worked for us… you don’t find that a lot,” says Cathy. Throughout the whole process, Jessica always kept Cathy informed. Cathy knew that her family was the first farmers that Jessica helped with coverage so she had to do her “homework” to make sure she was filing correctly. Jessica also prepared a contingency plan in case the HIP coverage did not come through.
“I appreciate having the help.” Cathy says since being out of the workforce, she is not as computer literate as she once was. Whenever she is not sure about something related to her healthcare coverage, she calls Brightpoint. “I don’t know what I could do without Jessica… she has been my lifesaver.”