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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

October 18, 2008

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 story:

Sandra and her husband always dreamed of building a family together. They chose not to get pregnant because they were uninsured for a period of over two years and didn’t think that there were any affordable health insurance options available to them. Then they found out about the Health Care For All’s Helpline from close friend. They filled out the application for health benefits and learned that they were both eligible for coverage through Commonwealth Care.

Her new coverage allowed Sandra to go to the doctor regularly to ensure that she was prepared to have a healthy baby. Finally, after a year of coverage and doctor visits, she finally received confirmation from her doctor that she was pregnant. Sandra and her husband were elated to know that they could celebrate their pregnancy and could receive the prenatal vitamins, exams, and specialist’s visits that were required due to the nature of her pregnancy.

Fortunately for the family, their baby was born without any kind of health problems and was immediately enrolled into MassHealth coverage. Sandra says that the situation by itself was very difficult and having to worry about having to pay for all of the medical treatment that she and the baby had to go through would have been devastating. But instead, she was able to receive great prenatal treatment, and she says that the doctors' concerns and care were all very important to keep them informed and prepared for what could happen.

Here is what Sandra had to say about her experience:

“I’m so lucky to be a Massachusetts resident and to have found the Helpline. It’s awful to live without health insurance because we never know what our future holds for us. It makes me feel a lot more protected and safer [to have Commonwealth Care]. Health reform happened just in the right time in our life so we could follow up carefully throughout our pregnancy. We learned so much. It was really a life’s lesson not only about gift of having a healthy and perfect child, but also the greatest value of having the access of to quality and affordable health insurance.”

Monika Lira Malhoit