a guide to patients and non-patients so they can have access to the resources available in their time of need. UL: What is your “why” for what you do? NL: I have a job that provides responsibilities that are fulfilling and satisfying every time I am able to help someone in need. I enjoy what I do on a daily basis! UL: What is something you’ve learned while working with HICAP that has helped you in your own life? NL: I have learned many new things. Being a Certified HICAP Counselor has better prepared me for when my friends or family members become eligible for Medicare. The training allowed me to assist my mother, who is currently on Medicare, choose the right plan for Part D as some medications are covered on certain plans and others are not. Due to my training, I have been able to help her understand her rights and know how often she can change plans.
NEYMI LEON H E L P I N G O T H E R S N A V I G AT E H E A LT H C A R E Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, Neymi Leon moved to Northern California with her parents when she was three years old. She has been here ever since. Now a mother to three teenagers, she works full time as an Outreach and Enrollment Specialist at Ampla Health Gridley Medical where she has the opportunity to help patients and non-patients allocate community resources through county, state, and federal programs. She is certified through Covered California and helps enroll participants into Medi-Cal, Medicare, or the medical plan of their choice if they qualify. Neymi also helps individuals who do not qualify for medical insurance register for Ampla Health’s Sliding Fee Program, so they can receive the healthcare they need at a very low cost. Finally, she helps conduct outreach through community events within the six counties they serve—Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba. We caught up with her to find out why she does what she does and what it has meant to her life.
UL: How would you describe HICAP to someone? NL: HICAP offers free services in the community, such as counseling services and education to individuals that are new to Medicare and individuals who are currently on Medicare in need of assistance. HICAP assists with enrollment into different assistance programs and conducts education presentations in the community on topics like Medicare Part D plans. All these services are provided through individuals that are mostly working on a volunteer basis.
UL: What has surprised you the most about working with HICAP? NL: I’ve been surprised that many individuals who are on Medicare don’t know about the different parts, benefits, and cost of the program. The most amazing thing I have seen by working with HICAP is the willingness of individuals to volunteer their time to educate our community on it. UL: What do you do to avoid burnout? NL: I maintain a positive attitude every day by focusing on the positive outcome of every situation. UL: When you are not working at Ampla or with HICAP, what are some of your hobbies? NL: When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy doing arts and crafts with my kids. I like to go to theme parks as well—my favorite being Disneyland! If there is time for a weekend getaway, the beach is my go-to place. My biggest commitment and hobby that I have, though, is spending time with and caring for my family.
UL: What inspires you to be involved with HICAP? NL: At Ampla Health, it’s very important to serve and help our Medicare patients, and I was given the opportunity to attend trainings and become a Certified HICAP/ Medicare Counselor. In the past, I’ve had my own struggles allocating resources because I didn’t have anyone to help me. I now serve as 27