by Sara Bentley

In May of 2014, I had just graduated from a doctorate program for physical therapy. I was barely scraping by on student loans, and I knew that I still had several very expensive months ahead of me before I would have a license, a job, and a first paycheck. Being a part of the healthcare system has opened my eyes to the financial tragedy that can come from unexpected medical costs, so I knew that being uncovered was not an option.

I enrolled in a plan through Connect for Health Colorado that suited all of my needs – mainly it was affordable and had a large list of in-network providers.

As a young and healthy medical practitioner, I chose a catastrophic plan in order to save money and pay off my student loans quickly.  However, when I finally landed an amazing position in the mountains, my employer informed me that they would not be providing health insurance. Moving meant I had to switch my plan, and this meant that the price of my insurance was going up. 

What I didn’t know was how to switch my plan, what my options were, or if I could save any money during this change. Thankfully, I got all the help I needed from Matt at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. We spoke frequently, via email and phone, and he helped me weigh my options to find the right plan. He even told me about the changes with health insurance premiums in the mountains that would occur in January 2015, which ended up making a huge impact on my plan choice and the cost of my premium. 

Because of these changes and the information I received from the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, I found a plan with lower premiums and I saved almost $1000 on premiums alone in 2014! And because of the Affordable Care Act and Connect for Health Colorado, I can focus on treating my patients and paying off my student loans while being protected from financial disaster in the case of an unexpected health cost.

See Sara’s, and other Coloradan’s stories in our Full Exposure series. Do you have a story about how health care has impacted your life? We want to know. Go to to share

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