Adrian Goulart, a healthy 25-year-old member of the U.S. Marine Corp, experienced an incident in June 2016 that nearly changed his entire life plan. Adrian was sick with the Swine Flu, but unfortunately thought that the quickest way to get better would be to burn it out, just like any other flu.
So, he set off for a run hoping to sweat out the infection. Three miles in, his body overheated and he went into anaphylactic shock instead.
A pre-med student, Adrian recognized what his body was going through so he tried to calm himself down and cool off. When that didn’t work, he called his wife to pick him up and take him to the hospital.
He admitted himself to the Emergency Department at Utah Valley Hospital, where caregivers rushed him over to the ICU. Because of his education and the realization that he was uninsured and couldn’t afford extensive medical care, Adrian asked for the bare minimum treatment: an antihistamine and an epinephrine shot.
A Dilemma: Needing Care Without Any Insurance
At the time of the incident, Adrian was in the process of switching his insurance to the company that supports the Marine Corp. But any government-issued insurance takes 60 days to activate, so he was uninsured for two months. The incident happened within the 60 days he was uninsured, and as soon as he received the medication, Adrian requested to leave.
When doctors advised him to stay because of the seriousness of his condition, Adrian sank in his bed. He was uninsured and he was not going to be able to afford the medical care.
During his time in the ICU, all Adrian could think about was how this accident was ruining his and his wife’s life plan. They were in their first year of marriage at the time of the incident and he couldn’t think of anything worse than starting off their life together in a terrible amount of medical debt; there went their down payment on a house, money on their education, and saving up for children.
Adrian had a goal to finish his undergraduate degree with no debt. He knew he would have to take out student loans for medical school, but he wanted to start graduate school with no debt. At the time of the incident, he had just completed his third year at UVU and was on track for his financial goal. Sitting in his hospital bed uninsured, he knew his aspirations for a debt-free bachelor’s degree may be gone.
Financial Assistance to the Rescue
Thankfully, an eligibility counselor came in and spoke with Adrian and his wife about the hospital’s Financial Assistance Program and how it works, and Adrian started the application.
As a not-for-profit organization, Intermountain Healthcare offers medical care to individuals regardless of their ability to pay. Anyone needing help with the cost of that care may apply for assistance.
“We understand that our patients reach out to us in a time of need for medical care and that can be very intimidating or frightening when they do not have the resources or ability to pay,” said Financial Assistance Eligibility Manager Terri Otten. “We see the light in their eyes and the heaviness lifted when we offer them an understanding of how we can help.
About a month after being discharged from the hospital, Adrian received a letter notifying him that his balance of $12,857.14 was adjusted down to $50.00. His wife burst into tears of gratitude, and Adrian couldn’t believe the generosity.
“I just want to thank whoever made this possible; this was the difference between starting our young family off on a horrible foot and actually having a fighting chance,” said Adrian.
Learn More About Financial Assistance
If you have questions about the Intermountain Healthcare’s Financial Assistance Program, please call 801.357.3355 in Utah County or visit the Financial Assistance site.