Voices Across America

Spent Her 20s Fighting Insurance Companies

Leslie Rott Welsbacher

State: Michigan
Congressional District: MI09


Immune Disease

Issues and Challenges

Leslie Rott Welsbacher has encountered: Access to Medicine, Copay Issues, Insurance Issues, Medical Records Access, Surprise Billing, Caregiving, Disability, Invisible Illness, Step-Therapy / Fail First, Transparency in Health Care

My Story

In April 2008, I was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis at the end of my first year of graduate school. Having been sick for several years and having my symptoms psychologized, these diagnoses were partially a relief. But being in the “graduate school bubble”, I never anticipated that I would have to deal with chronic illness. At the time, I had amazing, faculty-level health insurance. I was spoiled. I never had to ask what anything would cost me and literally only paid co-pays. Over the last 13 years, I’ve had Medicaid from multiple states, regular student health insurance, marketplace plans, and employer-based health insurance. And with each different type of insurance has come pros and cons. The biggest con is the out-of-pocket costs I have had to endure and the impact this has had on living life as a 20- and 30-something, with multiple chronic conditions taking center stage. This is in contrast to the carefree existence that my healthy friends have experienced, without the worry about paying for their health and health care.

My Motivation and Inspiration

My motivation is not wanting others to have to go through what I went through. The constant battling with insurance companies is exhausting for those of us that are already sick and tired.

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