What value can you place on health insurance? The recent emotional testimony about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives us a sense of the importance of health insurance to a solid economic footing. To one Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) client, access to healthcare through HUF’s Te Ayudo program is a cornerstone of American life.
Te Ayudo, which means “I can help you,” is funded by the Humana Foundation. The program increases healthcare access for many uninsured and under-insured individuals and families like Ms. Mayeris Bermúdez, a 44 year-old single mother from Venezuela.
Ms. Bermúdez, who arrived last July with her 13-year-old son, immediately began working to normalize their immigration status. Early this year, she received her Employment Authorization Card but was found ineligible for health insurance coverage through the ACA.
A friend recommended HUF, where the Te Ayudo navigator helped Ms. Bermúdez update her ACA application. Unfortunately, she was again found ineligible for the Special Enrollment Period through a technicality.
The HUF navigator, Guillermina Degracia, believed that the denial of coverage was incorrect. With their help, Ms. Bermúdez mounted an appeal. The crux of the issue is that Ms. Bermúdez was enrolling during the Special Enrollment period because of a change in income, not her immigration status. Fueled with the experience of the Te Ayudo navigator, Ms. Bermúdez was able to enroll in a healthcare plan with a monthly premium under $35 using tax credits to augment her $18,000 annual income.
Since its inception in 2016, hundreds of Broward County-area residents like Ms. Bermúdez have gained access to critical services through Te Ayudo. HUF is proud to partner with the Humana Foundation, which seeks to improve community health and well-being while addressing root causes and barriers that keep people from being their healthiest.
Broward County is a priority for Humana, as the company is committed to making the community 20 percent healthier by 2020 as part of its Bold Goal initiative. HUF is proud to partner with Humana to help create a healthier, more inclusive community for Ms. Bermúdez and others.