November 16, 2016
I’m an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and I used to live with my family on tribal lands in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I could get basic health care at no cost through the Indian Health Service facilities there. And that was a good thing, because in 2010 I lost the health insurance I had through my job.
But after moving about and bartending at various casinos, I settled in Detroit and started studying biology at Wayne State University. I felt I could do more with my life.
I also needed to get health insurance again. The IHS clinic in the Upper Peninsula was too far away to be convenient for me and didn’t have all the services I wanted. The American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan, a nonprofit in Detroit, helped me enroll in affordable, quality coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
I was covered by an HMO for $37 a month after tax credits for the first year and $50 a month after tax credits for the second year. I shopped for 2016 and got a more flexible PPO plan for $95 a month that I really like. In addition to quality, low cost coverage, as an American Indian, I also benefited from no cost sharing, which means I don’t have copays or deductibles. I used to pay $375 a month for prescriptions, but now my plan covers them. This gives me peace of mind.
READ MORE: Getting Coverage—and Peace of Mind—Even if I’m Not Near My Tribe