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

April 10, 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:

Paul can’t imagine what his 2-year old daughter’s life might be like if it wasn’t for Massachusetts’ health reform. He first contacted the Helpline after a friend told him about the new lower-cost health care options created by the reform law. Soon after applying for the programs with the help of a Helpline Counselor, he was very excited to learn about he and his wife’s eligibility for affordable, comprehensive, quality coverage through Commonwealth Care.

Soon after receiving their health insurance cards, they found out that his wife Marcia was pregnant. She had great pre-natal care and didn’t have to deal with the stress of worrying about how the family would pay for the medical bills that they would have incurred had they not had access to affordable health care coverage.

With the birth of their daughter came the surprise of her being born with a cleft palette. She immediately received all of the best care to fix it. She had surgery the same week that she was born, and then, when she was around 8-months-old, she had cosmetic plastic surgery as well. Paul says that all of these procedures being done early in his daughter’s life were needed right away because it will reduce the likelihood of any further repair needed in the future.

Here is what he had to say:

“The Helpline and the health care programs were crucial for our family’s well-being. Since the very beginning, we were treated very kindly. This process that we had to go through could have been devastating if it wasn’t for the state programs and the amazing work the Health Care For All does in Massachusetts. We couldn’t even think about having been terrified about the idea of our daughter having a genetic problem, because it was all taken care of quickly enough before she was even 1-year old. She had all the best care she could ever have. The professionals and technology used were just great. And when my daughter grows up she won’t even remember any of this pain. She will learn how important it was for her life to have the privilege of being born in this state. It will definitely make such a big difference in her life as she grows as a confident and mature woman.”

Monika Lira Malhoit