By Brooke Foster
A welcome relief.
That’s how Kristen Wiggins of Andalusia described Alfa Health, a program that helps Alabama Farmers Federation members secure quality, affordable health insurance.
With six kids, insurance they can count on is a must for Kristen and her husband, Russell, a third-generation Covington County farmer and longtime Federation member.
After learning of yet another insurance price hike headed their way in 2021 through a previous insurance provider, the Wiggins family decided to investigate other options.
“Saving money was my first priority,” Kristen said. “Our premium was already high, and for us to receive a notice saying it was going up even more, I knew I had to get a second job or find another health insurance option. Thanks to the relationship we have with the Farmers Federation, Alfa Health quickly stepped in and gave us the same coverage at a fraction of the cost. That was huge.”
Kristen said maintaining essential coverage options they already enjoyed was a plus. The personal care she received working with Alfa Health was the cherry on top.
“It’s simple and doesn’t require a lot of legwork or paperwork,” she said of the process. “It’s definitely for families and busy people who don’t have the time or knowledge to deal with insurance on your own.”
Russell said the initial process of self-assessing needs in the health insurance marketplace was intimidating.
“We talked to so many other providers in the marketplace, and once you start asking about coverage and limits, there was always something that seemed like a catch,” he said. “As a farmer, I’m self-employed, and the Alfa Health team really understands how to help folks in our situation. They went above and beyond to let us keep the coverage we needed at an affordable rate, and we will forever be grateful for that.”
Alfa Health Manager Ryan Stanford praised his team for making a difference in the lives of Federation members and other health insurance seekers.
“It’s about providing exceptional full-disclosure service, and our team works hard to do just that,” Stanford said. “Our job is to make sure customers know what’s going to happen each step of the way, including exactly how much it will cost them in the end. We’re extremely grateful to work with families like Kristen and Russell — to be just a small part of keeping their life happy and healthy.”
For farmers, navigating tax situations and projected income that could impact their health insurance qualifications can be stressful — until they call Alfa Health.
“Transitioning to Alfa Health was the easiest experience I’ve ever had,” Kristen said. “With the same coverage, copays and deductible, Alfa Health has made our life easy and affordable.”
Adding ease to their busy lifestyle is a gift, Kristen said. From helping Russell on the farm to managing family finances, time is precious. So is protecting their children — Riley Grace, 22; Maggie Ruth, 15; Jack, 13; Mollie Jae, 11; Pitt, 10; and Ella Grae, 4.
“I was 12 minutes from my house when I called Alfa Health to inquire about insurance,” Kristen said. “As soon as I got home, I couldn’t get to Russell fast enough to tell him just how much we could benefit in savings going through Alfa Health. The very next day, I sent my information in. Within 24 hours, we were covered.”
Kristen credited God’s grace for the journey that led them to call Alfa Health.
“What a blessing it’s been,” she said. “Even now, if I have a question or issue, I know the Alfa Health team is just a phone call away. I’m comforted knowing I’ll be talking with someone who knows insurance, knows us and has our best interests in mind.”
Federation members may qualify for Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama health insurance plans at substantially lower rates through Alfa Health, including subsidies for farmers, self-employed individuals and employees who aren’t offered coverage by an employer group plan. Alfa Health also sells BCBS dental plans, as well as Medicare supplement and Part D prescription drug plans. Contact the Alfa Health team at 1 (800) 392-5705 to learn more.