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Real Voices: Your Weekly Dose from the HCFA Helpline

Real Voices: Your Weekly Dose from the HCFA Helpline

November 2, 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:

Erica is a thirty six-year-old married woman and the mother of a nine-year-old boy that has had constant health problems from a very young age. Erica works as a house keeper and her husband is a painter. Since they are self-employed, Erica and her husband aren't offered health coverage through an employer and paying out-of-pocket for private health insurance was always completely unaffordable. She says that her biggest concern in life is to provide for her son and not being able to afford to get care for her son's medical conditions made her feel awful.

Thankfully, Erica learned about HCFA's Helpline through a close friend, filled out an application for assistance, and within a few weeks she was notified that her son is eligible for MassHealth coverage. Erica and her husband were also determined eligible for Commonwealth Care coverage. Our Helpline counselor let her know that health reform had expanded MassHealth benefits to children whose parent's earn more money than had previously been eligible for benefits and had created the new subsidized plan known as Commonwealth Care that covers folks that aren't offered health insurance through their employer.

Erica says that she is elated to be able to see the difference her son's MassHealth coverage is making in his life. Instead of taking him to the emergency room for treatment, her son now receives on-going specialty treatment for his health conditions. She can now afford the medication that her son needs to control his health conditions, and thankfully, this is all covered by MassHealth.

Erica says her son's life only improved because of his eligibility for MassHealth. She says that she is not very good giving speeches, but this time she had to express her appreciation. Here is what she has to say:

“I just can’t imagine how hard our life would be if we didn’t have the access to an affordable and quality health insurance. When I look at my son and all the health issues he went though in the past years, I realize the tremendous importance of the MassHealth and Commonwealth Care in our lives. Today, I just can see my son as a healthy and fortunate child that could have the right care at the right time for all the health problems he had. My husband and I also get to see the doctor on regular visits and check ups. I’m just so grateful for all of the work that Health Care for All does and the state law that gives us the great opportunity to have access to affordable health insurance."

Monika Lira Malhoit
HCFA HelpLine Counselor