The Ups & Downs of Income…and Care
Sometimes our clients have fluctuating incomes, which means they have fluctuating access to healthcare.
Sophia was disqualified from Medi-Cal because she made too much money. The social worker from the hospital referred her to us for help in adjusting her insurance.
We found that Sophia was eligible for a plan through Covered California and she qualified for a “stipend” to help cover the costs. Unfortunately, within six months, Sophia’s income plummeted and she could no longer afford the premiums through Covered California. Back she went to Medi-Cal and back to Young & Healthy for help in navigating the quagmire of insurance changes and paperwork.
As a community, we are getting better at helping families understand WHY insurance is so important, but it still isn’t easy for them to pursue it.
Never Letting Go Until the Care is Complete
We are always happy when a child completes a full week of care at our Mobile Dental Clinic. Sometimes follow up care is needed and this was the case for 14-year-old, Benton.
Benton needed four root canals. The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC offered to perform the root canals at their downtown clinic. However, Benton’s family did not have any means of transportation. This situation brought added frustration and stress that escalated to the point that Benton’s mom wanted to drop the whole thing.
The Young & Healthy team convinced Benton’s mom that they could provide help in obtaining Medi-Cal. Once Medi-Cal insurance coverage was secured, the Young & Healthy team assisted the family with navigating the system to identify a local Medi-Cal dentist, as well as an oral surgeon, who could complete Benton’s care.
Benton is on his way to a healthy mouth and hopefully his mom feels the support of her community.
Heart & Soul
Can you imagine all the heartache and sadness that comes with being a young widower? In spite of it all, taking care of his young daughter is a top priority for Dennis. He came to Young & Healthy for help with navigating the insurance system. The Young & Healthy team helped Dennis to transfer his family Medi-Cal from San Bernardino county to Los Angeles county and assisted him in setting up primary care doctors for he and his daughter.
A few months later, Dennis came back because he was having difficulties accessing a specialty doctor. More trouble-shooting with the Young & Healthy team enabled him to secure an appointment with a cardiologist.
Thank goodness Dennis saw the cardiologist! Consumed with caring for his daughter, he hadn’t realized he had actually had a heart attack. It must be hard sometimes to tell the difference between overwhelming grief and a life threatening medical event. His insurance covered everything and Dennis is doing well.
Sometimes we might forget, among the technicalities of insurance application and advocacy, just how many lives we might be saving.
Helping Systems Work Better
Six-year-old Sam failed his hearing test at school. The school nurse quickly referred Sam to Young & Healthy. One of our wonderful ENT (Ears, Nose & Throat) volunteer physicians, Dr. Williams, recommended that Sam have his tonsils and adenoids removed and “tubes” inserted in both ears to promote fluid drainage.
Because the child had an urgent health issue, our Family Advocate was able to have his Medi-Cal application expedited. Voila! The child now has full scope Medi-Cal and his surgery has been completed. We all have our fingers crossed that the surgery will restore his hearing. We have heard how it “takes a village” to raise a child–well sometimes it “takes a village” to make a healthcare system work too!
A Simple Mishap
One’s pinky finger REALLY is not supposed to stick out at a right angle! It would make anybody cringe to even think about how much pain 14 year-old Julian was in when his pinky finger was injured and sticking out. That pain was multiplied for his family, living under the constant threat of poverty. Already on the edge of survival, a simple basketball mishap spelled disaster for Julian’s family.
Luckily, Julian’s school knew about Young & Healthy. A no-cost trip to the emergency room and the follow-up with a hand specialist saved the day. Julian’s hand is now healing and his parents are no longer in a panic.
During our work with Julian and his family, it was discovered that they qualify for insurance. Our Young & Healthy team has helped the family to obtain insurance coverage. Perhaps that broken finger was actually a lucky break.