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Worry Free With EHP: Plan’s Coverage Allowed Members to Focus on Health, Not Bills

March 2015
Marian and Russell Denny

Marian & Russell Denny

For Russell Denny, a self-employed auto mechanic, aches and pains were as routine as an oil change. So, last fall, he thought nothing of the discomfort on the right side of his torso.

Eventually, though, it became too much to bear. He went to the doctor, and tests showed a large, cancerous tumor on his right lung.

To focus on his health, Russell closed his shop and stopped working. His wife, Marian, a Johns Hopkins HealthCare employee, said that was an important decision.

“If he had to continue to work, I fear that he would have never gotten better because of the type of work he did and the hours he put in,” Marian said.

The decision was only possible because of Employer Health Programs (EHP). With only one income, paying for Russell’s radiation and chemotherapy would have been a struggle. But the couple’s out-of-pocket payments were next to nothing.

“There were some (statements) that were bills, but most of them showed zero dollars for patient payments,” Marian said. “What a relief that was.”

The Dennys chose a Hopkins preferred provider, knowing that it would be the best coverage under their plan. Their care has been great. After an aggressive treatment, the tumor had shrunk when they last saw the doctor in January. Their coverage has been even better.

“I can’t imagine how much more difficult this would be if I had to choose between getting my husband the treatment he needs and being able to afford the treatment,” Marian said. “With EHP, I have one less thing to worry about.”

The Dennys have been EHP members for two years. Prior to that, they had health coverage with a different plan, through Marian’s former employer. If Russell had been diagnosed at that time, Marian said she doesn’t believe he would have been able to stop working. Their insurance would not have covered as much.

“I can’t imagine not having insurance or having a different insurance that’s not at the EHP level,” Marian said.

Russell hopes for good news when he goes back to the doctor in April for a follow-up visit.


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