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

May 22, 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:

Ana and Ben never thought that having access to quality and affordable health insurance would be something precious to them. When health reform was passed and they learned that every resident of Massachusetts needed to have health insurance, they called HCFA’s Helpline for help signing up for MassHealth and Commonwealth Care,. They were notified a month later about their eligibility.

Right after enrolling, Ana got pregnant with their first child. Her prenatal treatment under Healthy Start coverage couldn’t have been better. When the time came, Ana had Matthew, who apparently seemed to be a health child. But, after regular checkups, the doctors diagnosed the baby with a very rare cancer. The doctors found tumors in his brain and lips as well as an enlarged liver, three times larger than the average baby. At that time Ana and Ben say that they were devastated. Ana and Ben thought their little son’s life would probably end.

Right away Matthew started chemotherapy and had intense treatment for an extended period of time. Ben says that there was a time that they were living at the hospital every day for four months. With optimism and surrounded by all the best professionals and medical resources, they lived day by day fighting for their son’s life.

Time passed and Matthew surprised everyone who thought that he wouldn’t make it, even some of his physicians. Now he is 2 years old and his parents says that he really enjoys life. They say that playing with his friends and having ice cream are his favorite’s things in life. Here is what Matthew’s parents had to say:

“It is with tears in our eyes that we want to let everyone know of how grateful we are to be Massachusetts residents and to have the chance to be eligible for MassHealth health insurance programs, and especially to have built this strong relationship with the helpline counselors at Health Care for All that always give us so much comfort and orientation. Our lives wouldn’t have been easy if it wasn’t for these beautiful friendships that we built through these difficult years”.

Monika Lira Malhoit