Anneliese and Patient

Not having health insurance is not out of the ordinary with our area being one of the most costly for premiums and out of pocket costs in the state. Despite the Affordable Care Act and Colorado’s Medicaid Expansion, uninsured rates remain stubbornly high in our mountain region. The rate of uninsured individuals is 15%, versus Colorado’s rate of 10%. A staggering 39% of Mountain Family patients are uninsured. Residents like Caitlin K. know firsthand what it’s like to not have coverage. In 2023, she lost access to health insurance due to rising monthly premiums she could no longer afford. Caitlin is a small business owner and works seasonal jobs throughout the year. In the Roaring Fork Valley, this is not an uncommon story.

Caitlin was a healthy thirty-something year-old who used her health insurance for emergencies only. “Truthfully, I didn’t think much of not having health insurance at first. I’m an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast, and my summer job has me working outside eight to ten hours a day,” Caitlin told us.

Caitlin thought it was wise to visit a local health fair as she typically skipped her annual adult wellness checkups. She was stunned to receive the call from the health fair provider that her tests showed her cholesterol was dangerously high.

“I was shocked and lost. The nurse informed me I would quickly need a follow-up to get things under control before permanent damage was done,” Caitlin recounted.

In the blink of an eye, Caitlin was having a health emergency. Knowing she couldn’t afford many of the healthcare options in the area, she was left wondering where to go and how I would afford care.

Fortunately, a friend of Caitlin’s recommended Mountain Family Health Centers who accepts all patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.  She was able to schedule an appointment quickly. She received excellent, compassionate care every step of the way – from check-in, to meeting her doctor, to follow-up blood draws, to medication management.

Caitlin has since learned her high cholesterol is genetic and will require regular monitoring. Unfortunately, the cost of living and health insurance premiums don’t appear to be going down anytime soon.  

Thankfully, Mountain Family was there to care for Caitlin in her time of need and will help her remain healthy for years to come.

To help members of our community continue to access the healthcare they deserve, please consider donating to Mountain Family Health Centers.