Fresno woman says Covered California saved her life

FRESNO, Calif.

The way Diana Parret moves around the kitchen of her Fresno home, you'd never know that just two weeks ago, she had major surgery. The 59-year-old is the primary caregiver for her mother -- so she didn't have a lot of time to recuperate. In fact, time was *not* on her side when it came to her diagnosis either, "I was diagnosed with a very high grade, aggressive, nasty cancer. Uterine cancer."

Diana had long suspected something was wrong -- after researching her symptoms online. But after losing her job last December, she had lost her health insurance too. "Every day I knew when I got up, every day I knew I had a problem but I didn't know what to do." She was intimidated by the online sign-up process, and didn't think she could afford the coverage she needed.

She happened upon an information kiosk at Kaiser Permanente in North Fresno where she learned about subsidies through Covered California and got help signing up for an insurance plan with Kaiser she *could* afford. Within a month of paying her first premium, she underwent surgery -- a hysterectomy using the minimally invasive, top-of-the-line Da Vinci robotic system. "It's like I had the best insurance in the world. That was the day my life started over again. Because it gave me, that we caught it in time, that I had insurance, that I didn't have to wait a waiting period. Because that's a death sentence." Instead, she's cancer free, with a new lease on life: "I'm thankful and it's a story I wanted to share because I think people need to know this works."

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