When Erik Cardenas was little, he constantly had ear infections. But his family often couldn’t get time off to take him to the doctor.

“I remember my parents, they lived paycheck to paycheck. So I remember having my mom and dad kind of think about who could afford to stay home with me,” he told Business Insider.

At 10, Cardenas, newly insured through his mom’s commercial health plan after she got a job on the assembly line at Alcon Laboratories, took his first trip to a pediatrician’s office. While he stared at the aquarium and toys, his mom took out her purse to buy coffee from the lobby setup, not knowing it was free.

Erik Cardenas amazon care

Erik Cardenas, a tech leader at Amazon Care.

Amazon Care


Now 38, Cardenas is one of two technology leaders at Amazon Care, Amazon’s health service that provides online and in-person visits for Amazon employees. There, he’s

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