Member Story: Celestine

woman pushing another woman in a wheel chair

For Celestine Young, being a Virginia Premier member feels like being part of a family rather than a health insurance company. And if you’ve ever seen her attend one of our Member Advisory Committee (MAC) meetings, you’d understand why. 

MAC meetings are quarterly events where members and Virginia Premier staff come together and discuss different areas of care, benefit information updates and any problems that may have cropped up.

Celestine got a ride in a Virginia Premier transportation van to attend one such meeting. Soon after arriving, she stopped to chat, laugh and catch up with fellow members, nurses and Virginia Premier staff—among them her friend and care manager, Ashley Christopher.

Celestine and Ashley first started working together in the fall of 2018, and Celestine still remembers their first session.

"She called me and covered all my benefits. She explained all the things I didn’t know about my plan, like the dental and eye doctor benefits—so now I use them.”

Since then, the pair have developed quite the relationship. “She keeps me laughing,” says Ashley referring to Celestine. And Celestine calls Ashley a “loving and caring spirit.” Whenever Celestine needs help, Ashley is always there to listen and help out. The two usually talk at least once a month. But if Celestine is in a time of need, it’s not uncommon for them to talk every day.

In one such case, Celestine was experiencing trouble with her wheelchair. “It was cutting my hand and it was missing parts. Ashley called them [the medical equipment company] to set up an appointment for them to see the wheelchair and get it fixed.” In another, Celestine was having difficulty in arranging pick-up and drop-off times. She brought the issue up at a MAC meeting, and the process was improved. Now, members can call drivers directly for better communication and organization. As a result, transportation wait times dropped down from around 30 minutes to two minutes.

This is why Celestine loves going to MAC meetings: as she puts it, “someone’s gonna listen.” Celestine has a place to share her thoughts on how Virginia Premier can improve. And for Celestine, this is how Virginia Premier is more than just a health plan; it’s a family. “They care about me. I know. I don’t make up things.” Within the past year, Celestine has added Virginia Premier Elite Plus to her existing health plan.

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