Healthcare Reform: For Her, a Long-Awaited Lifeline

After struggling for years, a sickle cell anemia sufferer may finally get coverage

Eight years ago Jon’ette Jordan, 33, said good-bye to her stable job with an investment firm to start the business she believed to be her calling: Weddings by Jon’ette, an event planning company in Walnut Creek, California.

Entrepreneurship always comes with risk, but for Jon’ette the risks were physical as well as financial. That’s because leaving her job also meant losing her health insurance coverage—no small detail for someone with sickle cell anemia. This genetic disorder causes the body to produce abnormal, crescent-shaped red blood cells that clog up the blood vessels that lead to the limbs and organs, causing infection, organ damage and paralyzing pain.

Jon’ette tried to purchase coverage independently, but insurance companies either denied her outright because of her pre-existing condition or quoted fees higher than she could afford to pay. So today Jon’ette is living without any health insurance coverage and pays out of pocket for all her care. The recently passed healthcare reform bill will change that by giving Jon’ette access to affordable coverage.

Next: Jon’ette’s story

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