Faced With Major Surgery, Caregiver Thankful for Affordable Healthcare Coverage

Deborah is all smiles at a recent caregiver event!

When Deborah M. learned she needed to have open heart surgery last spring, she knew she would be taken care of in her recovery. With a strong community of friends, family and church, as well as access to paid leave from her job, she felt blessed by the support in her life.

And Deborah had one more vital support – the healthcare coverage she receives as a caregiver in Washington state. 

A longtime caregiver from Vancouver, Deborah remembers first enrolling in healthcare coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group in 2014. “My previous employers’ insurance had such high co-pays and out-of-pocket costs. When I signed up for this insurance, I had more choices and lower costs.” 

“For caregivers, having this coverage means we have less to worry about. We have access to the best care available.” 

The value of coverage became especially clear to Deborah when she had a heart attack in 2020. Between the ambulance ride, the stent placed in her heart and the night at the hospital, she paid just $175 out of pocket. 

Breathing became difficult again in 2023, and Deborah’s doctor informed her she had a bad heart valve that would require open heart surgery. Having already experienced the value of her coverage for major operations, she knew she wouldn’t have to worry about the costs: “I felt peace of mind this time around.” 

And for good reason: With total costs exceeding $240,000 for the procedure, Deborah owed just $230 in medical bills. 

Rather than worrying about how to pay for the operation, she was able to focus on herself, her healing, and a successful recovery.  

Today, Deborah says she has more energy and breathing is much easier. She’s appreciative of her improved health – and all the support she received, especially from her coverage.  

She wants other caregivers to know the value of their healthcare coverage – especially those who haven’t enrolled. “Our health care system in the U.S. isn’t fair, but I’m glad I have the job and the insurance I do. For caregivers, having this coverage means we have less to worry about. We have access to the best care available.” 

Caregivers can apply for high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage during Open Enrollment (July 1-20 every year) or when they have a Qualifying Life Event. Learn more about health coverage for caregivers!