Apple Health gives life to those with chronic disease

Renae Lingenfelter with her dog

Renae Lingenfelter

Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) saved Renae Lingenfelter's life.

Even after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, she didn't have insurance or a primary care physician. Renae had no idea how to manage it, and rarely had the medications she needed. Without insurance, her insulin prescriptions were easily $800 per month, not including testing and dosing supplies.

“How was I expected to pay, out-of-pocket, for this care?” asked Renae. “Where was I supposed to find information and education about this life threatening condition?”

After moving to Bellingham, Renae learned about Apple Health while visiting a Department of Social and Health Services office to speak to someone about the health care she desperately needed. The social worker helped her find the numbers to call and the locations of providers in the area. Soon she had an appointment with a primary care physician.

“I saw a doctor within days and had all the medications, supplies and resources for [type 2 diabetes] education in hand,” she said.

Instead of $800 for her medications, she paid nothing out-of-pocket. The stress of living with a chronic disease was suddenly much lighter.

“No longer did I have to choose between eating and having the medication needed to do so. As a diabetic, you really can’t have one without the other,” said Renae.

“Every provider I interacted with, whether customer service, receptionist, nurse, or doctor, was so kind. With no insurance, I felt judged when I had to go to the hospital or clinic regarding my health issues. My experience here, with this care, has always been positive. There is no judgment, just health care.”

Renae has found a career at a nonprofit organization serving Apple Health clients, giving back to her community in the form of social services.

Renae no longer needs Apple Health, but when she did, it allowed her to get her health in order so she could live a happy, productive life.

“I wouldn't be here without Apple Health. It truly saved my life.”

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