Health Reform Up Close and Personal: Day 10

On the last day of the legislative session, with the health reform funding bill poised to be enacted and federal waiver negotiations still not complete, we want to yet again 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’ve presented 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. Today’s story comes from Helpline counselor Hannah Frigand. Previous stories are available at Here’s our final entry:

Lisa, of Wareham, had to stop working because her fibromaylgia had made it too difficult for her to continue working. Lisa has always been the one to cover herself and her husband Tim. Tim works as a bartender and is not eligible for any benefits. Lisa was been checking the mail everyday to see if she and Tim have been accepted for Commonwealth Care. They were so grateful to find out yesterday that they are eligible for Commonwealth Care.

To reach our Helpline, call 800-272-4232, or click here.

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3 Responses to Health Reform Up Close and Personal: Day 10

  1. PJ says:

    So are there time limits for able bodied adults to receive medical coverage subsidized by me?
    Do you suppose Tim’s employer doesn’t offer coverage because of the cost? I’m assuming Tim works for a small business with few employees.
    And even if they did offer insurance to Tim, the double plan or family plan would probably cost Tim 100s per week. Yet, if Tim worked for a large corporation, he would probably have access to a family plan with great coverage for less than $100 per week. What’s wrong with this picture? People’s costs for healthcare are determined by the size of the company for which they work? Why has this issue not been addressed?

  2. Christine says:

    You are right- as a working adult, Tim should be able to support his family. Unfortunately for Tim, his employer has chosen not to offer health benefits. Commonwealth Care is helping to fill the gaps in our fragmented health system, and helping working families stay afloat in this economy.

  3. PJ says:

    In the meantime, is Tim looking for a job that may provide medical insurance? If he’s an able bodied adult he should be looking to support his family.

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