"I am so grateful for this safety net."
“Abigail” does not wish to use her real name or share her photo.
I came to the United States with my parents to reunite with my grandfather when I was 23 years old. Moving from Guangdong province in China to Seattle was hard. As soon as I arrived, I started working. I sewed clothes for over 15 years in garment factories and then worked at a restaurant in Auburn, cooking food. I didn’t have a good education and never had the chance to learn English. Now, I am 62 years old. I have lived in Seattle’s Beacon Hill area for more than 30 years.
My overall health is good, except for my eyes. I had to stop working last November to get cataract surgery in both eyes. Two months later, my vision is still not clear. My doctor says I need at least another month to recover because of complications. When I was working, my husband and I made $1,200 per month and I paid for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act. Now, I can’t work and my health has changed. I don’t have any income and we have less money to survive.
I asked an in-person assistant at International Community Health Services (ICHS) to help. She enrolled me in Apple Health, which has given me peace of mind.
I know my doctor visits and medicines are covered at no cost. I am so grateful for this safety net. Without health insurance, I would go crazy. I plan to go back on a qualified health plan once my eyes have recovered and I can work again.
I have been a patient at ICHS for 35 years. It is convenient. I can see my doctor and get medicine all at one time, in one place. My family doctor is excellent. My doctor was worried when I lost a lot of weight and after three blood tests came back abnormal. She referred me to Swedish hospital for more tests. The results came back that nothing was wrong. I felt so relieved I was not sick. I am happy I have a doctor and team who care for me.
Everyone has the right to decent, affordable health care in a language they can understand and in a place close to home. Your gift enables us to continue providing culturally appropriate health services in over 50 languages.