Member Interview: Health First Colorado

My name is Anna Nguyen. I am 25 years old, and I graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with my undergraduate degree in public health and biology. I currently am employed by the University
of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the Division of Medical Oncology. I work for the Messersmith and Pitts Research Laboratory where I assist in developmental therapeutic research for gastrointestinal
cancers. I first heard about Health First Colorado
because I have an older sister, Teresa, who was born with a disability. Her disability is called osteogenesis imperfecta, which is OI for short. And so she has brittle bones. And she was covered by Health First Colorado for the majority of her life. I was a full time college student. And I was working two jobs at the time but I still couldn’t afford health insurance. And so, it was stressful knowing that I worked so much yet I wasn’t doing enough to be able to cover my own health. When we were learning about the Affordable Care Act and I had learned about expansion, and I went home and looked into my eligibility. I enrolled through the online website, through PEAK Colorado, which was really easy to navigate. And with the expansion there is a wider range of people that are able to be covered by public insurance. I think it’s important for providers to
know that it is really rare for people in my age group and in my demographic to seek out their own health insurance. So it’s important for us to be able to find
providers who are accepting Health First Colorado patients because I really loved my provider — my doctor that I was seeing when I was a Health First Colorado member. And I was actually still able to see
him through my private health insurance. It was so helpful to me. It was a major stress relief knowing that I could engage in fun activities like a normal twenty-something
year old would do. I think it’s important for other Coloradans
to know that the stigma of being a Health First Colorado member has really decreased after the expansion because of the wider range of people that are now able to be covered
through public insurance such as young working professionals. And we do prioritize our health more than
most people think.

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