With critical state and federal funding decisions for health reform under consideration over the next week or so, we want to make sure everyone understands the human dimensions of chapter 58. While us policy experts are discussing tens and hundreds of millions of dollars for this or that, real people are getting real health care, every day.
Over 10 days, we’re going to present a daily real-life example of how health reform is touching the lives of Massachusetts. The stories focus on Commonwealth Care and MassHealth, since funding for these programs is under review. All the stories (names are changed) come from recent callers to the HCFA Helpline, which receives some 700 calls every week from people needing help with the health care system. Thanks to Kate Bicego, HCFA Helpline Director, for collecting the stories. Previous stories are available at www.hcfama.org/consumerstories. Here’s our eighth entry:
When Jane called us one year ago, she was paying out-of-pocket for a Harvard Pilgrim plan that cost $559 each month. She had depleted her entire savings paying for her health insurance premiums and was desperate for help. Jane is a 62 years old, self-employed, and earns about $10,000 each year. She enrolled into a Commonwealth Care health insurance plan in March of last year and says that her health has improved a great deal since then. She had breast cancer about ten years ago and she is now able to have regular mammograms. She was also able to see a doctor to find about a stomach illness and she has finally gotten relief for a persistent cough that she had had for twenty five years. She says that if Commonwealth Care were to go away, she would not be able to afford to have health insurance. She says that would not go to the doctor or take any medications for her conditions.
To reach our Helpline, call 800-272-4232, or click here.