A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Real Voices: Your Weekly Dose from the HCFA Helpline

Real Voices: Your Weekly Dose from the HCFA Helpline

February 9, 2009

Every week we highlight the voices of real people that contact our Helpline every day. Once a week you will be introduced to a family whose life has changed for the better due to health reform. If you or anyone you know needs assistance applying for free or low-cost health care coverage, please contact our Helpline online, or call 1-800-272-4232. Here’s this week’s entry:

Joann feels blessed to live in the state of Massachusetts where she and her newborn are eligible for Commonwealth Care and MassHealth coverage. She had no idea that she had affordable, quality, comprehensive health care coverage options until she attended a health fair where Helpline Counselors helped her to apply for coverage. She didn’t know it at the time, but applying for the coverage that day would ensure that her family could be protected from the cost of covering medical care in a critical situation.

A few months ago Joann was overjoyed by the birth of her daughter named Laura. Two weeks after her baby’s birth she found a bump on her baby’s back. Even though she thought it was nothing, and since she had access to health care, she brought her baby for a checkup. Hoping for the best, Joann was completely surprised by when the doctor diagnosed her baby a cancerous tumor.

Joann’s life was forever transformed into a battle of helping her newborn survive. After multiple exams, followed by surgery, her baby Laura is now receiving chemotherapy treatments. She says that she is terrified about the whole situation, but on the other hand, she is amazed by the excellent care she has been receiving by all of Laura’s providers and especially the great support she has been receiving from the helpline counselors. Below is what she has to say:

“I never thought that having the access to a subsidized health insurance could be something so crucial to our lives. At least for my family it was just vital. There’s no way I could ever afford my daughter’s treatment if it wasn’t for Commonwealth Care and MassHealth. I’m so grateful for it. If I still have any hope in life, it is because I can count on the great help of the Health Care for All, and the quality and affordable health insurance offered because of health reform.”

Monika Lira Malhoit