“I would never go without health insurance. Life has so many unexpected twists and turns. It would make me too nervous to be without it. I would give up so many other things first,” she said.
Having been self-employed for much of her career, Anne had group coverage only once through her most recent employer. But when she began a new venture as real estate agent in Sioux Falls with Keller Williams, Anne found herself once again shopping for health insurance.
The big difference this time was the availability of the plan options.
“I’ve done a lot of research on insurance through the years,” Anne said. “Before, to learn about coverage and prices, you had to call each insurance company.”
This time, she could go online and find the coverage options and prices all laid out before her, in a way that was easy to compare. “I liked the Avera plan, I liked the pricing and I liked the fact that I had good experiences with Avera. My grandparents, parents and kids had used Avera. I had a baby there. It felt like home. So it was an easy decision,” Anne said.
With a history of cancer in her immediate family, Anne appreciates that basic health screenings are included in her coverage, including an annual physical exam, mammograms and colonoscopy. “Preventive care is a huge deal for me. I’m so grateful to have the screenings in my plan,” she said.
Anne is fortunate not to have any pre-existing conditions. But having gone through the health insurance application process years ago, she’s aware how this prevented people from qualifying for coverage in the past. Now, during open enrollment, anyone can purchase a health insurance policy without fear of exclusions or being turned down.
She sees value in having a local company like Avera. “I called with a question about my plan, and it was a quick, easy call with an easy-to-understand explanation of the tiers of drug coverage,” Anne said. In addition, she likes being affiliated with a company that has a spiritual side, and reaches out to benefit the communities it serves.
Having “been there,” Anne understands that purchasing health insurance can be a stressful decision. “The Marketplace makes it feel much simpler. I hope that one of the things the Marketplace does for people is to make health insurance easier to access, so they don’t go without it.”
Note: Marketplace is name used when referencing healthcare.gov. If you live in Minnesota please use mnsure.org
Simply Staying Healthy
In addition to preventive care like regular checkups and screenings, Anne Lawrence does what she can to stay healthy. “Staying healthy is so important yet often difficult to do in a world of crazy schedules!”
As much as possible, Ann has tried to simplify her own plan:
- Keep bedtimes and morning wake times consistent (even on the weekend)
- Be active for 30 minutes a day even if it’s mowing the lawn or riding bikes with her kids
- Cut out processed foods
- Take a “detox bath” as often as she can. “This is on my list of absolute favorite things to do for myself,” Anne says.
Detox Bath recipe
Heat water as hot as you can stand it.
2 cups Epsom salt
1/2 cup baking soda
10 drops of lavender oil
Add “one stressed human” and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
Source: 10-Day Detox Diet by Mark Hyman