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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

March 27, 2009

Back after a brief vacation, 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:

When Camila first contacted Health Care for All two years ago, her family had been uninsured for a period of almost two years when her friend suggested that she contact the Helpline. Her biggest concern at the time was trying to find help for her five-year-old son who had serious speech problems. At the age of five, Marcos wasn’t really able to speak and achieve the milestone behaviors of other kids his age.

A Helpline counselor helped Camila’s family to fill out the application form for MassHealth and Commonwealth Care, and within weeks she was notified of her family’s eligibility. Camila and her husband were eligible for Commonwealth Care and her son was determined to be eligible for MassHealth. Camila says that having access to quality, affordable health care coverage was such a great change in their lives.

Before having coverage, she says that she didn’t know how to deal with her son’s speech problems. She knew that she needed professional help, but she couldn’t afford to pay out-of-pocket to take her son to the doctor. Now, with his MassHealth coverage in place, Camila has the opportunity to bring Marcos to a specialist. She says that at the beginning it was hard to see her little one struggling to speak, but after some intense treatment, she couldn’t believe the great improvement her son was making. For the first time, she says that she could communicate with and better understand him. Here is what she had to say:

“I’m just so excited and immensely grateful for all the help given to our family. I really appreciate all the beautiful work that Health Care For All does in Massachusetts. I’d also like to give a big “thank you” to MassHealth for providing us with the state health insurance programs. It feels like a big window opened and let in the sun, now that I can communicate with my son. We know each other better because we can express ourselves, and it is just amazing seeing the growth of my son every day of his life.”

Monika Lira Malhoit