Avera Medical Minute: Insurance coverage supports woman when she needed it most

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:18 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Saundra Larson was vaccinated against COVID-19 in the spring.

She works at Volunteers of America, Dakotas-and wanted to stay protected while at work. But by August she fell ill. It started with a sore throat.

“I got chills, and I just felt really achy and tired,” she said. “I’m a breakthrough case, I guess.”

An over-the-counter test showed positive results for COVID. A follow-up test at Avera confirmed it.

Her doctor set her up for an infusion appointment.

“They couldn’t get my oxygen above 90, so then the doctor said I need to go to the ER. So I went to the ER after trying to get an infusion and I was admitted.”

Saundra was in the hospital for nine days.

“My daughters were very afraid that I wouldn’t be here. I was very afraid that I wouldn’t be here, and that was my fear about going in the ICU,” she said. “If I go in the ICU, I’m probably not going to make it.”

Sandra never ended up in the ICU. Slowly, she recovered.

“Everyone was really good about taking care of me and making sure I did what I needed to do so I didn’t end up in the ICU.”

Sandra had insurance coverage through her employer, who is a member of Avera Group Health Plans.

“My insurance coverage is pretty good. I have the core plan, I don’t have the high deductible plan. And it’s a little bit more out of my paycheck, but it’s worth it,” Saundra said.

It is health coverage that her employer is proud to offer especially during the COVID pandemic.

“So our staff absolutely needed to do everything they can to stay healthy for themselves not only so they could serve the individuals that we do each year, but for their own families. We definitely put a very high focus on safety and family through the pandemic,” said Mallie Kludt, with Volunteers of America.

Saundra is back at work. She’s has regained her health and is thankful for her health care and coverage from Avera health.

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