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

October 24, 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:

Jorge is a 34-year-old married man who pays $141.79 each month for his Commonwealth Care coverage. Having access to quality and affordable health insurance is something that is vital for Jorge’s family. He has suffered from spondyloarthropathy- a kind of rheumatism- for years. Jorge knows that there is no cure for his health problem, but he did find some comfort when he discovered a treatment for the discomfort and pain caused by the disease that he has.

He needs to see a specialist frequently to have weekly injections that he describes as his “best friends” because they make him able to enjoy life with pain. Before health reform offered him Commonwealth Care coverage, he couldn't get the care that he needed because he did not have the money to pay out-of-pocket for visits to the specialist and for the injections.

Jorge was desperate and looking for help to be able to get treatment for his illness. Luckily, one of his friends had heard about all of the work Health Care For All does to help consumers around the state of Massachusetts. Soon after, Jorge contacted the Helpline for help completing the application to get Commonwealth Care application. He also got all the guidance needed during the eligibility and enrollment process.

Now Jorge gets to see the specialist on a regular basis and he says that he can't remember the last time he was in pain. Here is what else Jorge has to say:

“HCFA was essential for me to get Commonwealth Care coverage. I’m very grateful for it. If it wasn’t for HCFA, I would still be without insurance, and I would be terrified and desperate without my injections. Just a box of four shots costs around $1,436. HCFA’s participation in this whole process was just crucial.”

Monika Lira Malhoit