As enrollment deadline looms, cancer patient says affordable insurance saved her life

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The clock is ticking for anyone hoping to find health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace.

We are down to the final days of open enrollment, and for some, it’s a matter of life and death.

As the deadline looms, navigators at Utah Health Policy Project are going nonstop.

The organization has been helping Shauna Jacobs pick the perfect plan for her for three years now.

“The first year I didn’t even use it because I felt like I was healthy enough,” said Jacobs.

But, in May of this year came the diagnosis that completely changed her perspective on having health insurance.

“It’s saving my life,” she said.

Jacobs is battling Stage 3 endometrial cancer.

“It’s a journey. I’ve been doing chemotherapy and then I’ll be doing radiation. It’s a heavy experience.”

But, she says access to affordable healthcare is getting her through it.

She says without it, she would have never caught the cancer in time.

As of November 30, 2019, more than 74,400 Utahns had joined Jacobs in signing up on the market place.

Navigators say there are great options available to those who qualify.

“Being able to take advantage of those preventative services can really help families stay out of, you know, tough financial situations,” said Sarah Leetham with Take Care Utah.

Jacobs says that’s exactly what it’s done for her, but some of her friends aren’t so lucky.

“I have friends in chemotherapy that are not qualifying for the gap, and they are not at 65 yet and they are really struggling with their cancer, and their families are struggling with the finances,” said Jacobs.

She says these are the consequences of the partisan battle over healthcare.

“I feel like it’s almost barbaric not to have something for people.”

The deadline to sign up is this Sunday, December 15, 2019.

If you are struggling with the process, help is available.

Call 211 from your phone, or visit Take Care Utah online.


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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...