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University of Oregon graduate student relieved she has Oregon Health Plan coverage
Tristan Fields
Tristan Fields, University of Oregon graduate student, is relieved to now have health coverage through the Oregon Health Plan.

March 3, 2014 — Tristan Fields, 38, cried with joy when she opened the envelope and saw that she was covered by the Oregon Health Plan.

"I was thrilled. It had been so stressful without health insurance. I felt unsafe in the world," she said.

"It was easy to apply. I just filled out the application and sent it in. Now, I am looking forward to the opportunity of seeing a health care provider."
~ Tristan Fields

Fields is finishing her three-year landscape architect graduate studies at the University of Oregon. She works part-time at the university but not enough hours to have insurance coverage. While she has been going to school, she has repeatedly applied for private insurance coverage. She has been denied repeatedly because she had a pre-existing condition – a surgery she had on her knee in 2010. She learned recently that more people would be covered by OHP in 2014, so she decided to apply in January.

Fields is an active woman: "I surf and swim. I try to bike everywhere. But I was always so worried I would get injured. It would have fallen to my family if I had big medical expenses. It would have been financially catastrophic. It would have been horrible," Fields said.

"It was easy to apply. I just filled out the application and sent it in. Now, I am looking forward to the opportunity of seeing a health care provider," she said.