Living on a Prayer
A local school principal called Young & Healthy one day recently, saying he was desperate and didn’t know where else to turn. He explained that one of his most valued employees was so upset that she could hardly concentrate at work because her 26-year-old daughter, Rosie, had “aged-out” of her insurance coverage. This situation could not have come at a worse time, as Rosie has cancer and her treatments would surely stop without insurance coverage.
Rosie was able to obtain Medi-Cal insurance, but was finding it nearly impossible to access the treatment she so desperately needed. In despair, Rosie went to Mexico to seek any medical help she could find. Unfortunately, that did not work either and Rosie was getting sicker by the day. Her mother was terrified.
The principal’s call to Young & Healthy was all it took before our insurance advocate was quickly working on the issue. He first called Rosie in Mexico to get the details for facilitating the next steps. Understanding the Medi-Cal system quite well, our insurance advocate knew that Rosie would have to change her insurance in order to get the care she needed.
He helped her make the necessary changes so that she could be treated at City of Hope, once she got a referral from her primary care doctor. Our staff then primed her primary care doctor so that he was fully aware of Rosie’s circumstances. With the necessary insurance changes made, Rosie immediately came home to Pasadena and had an appointment within a week to see her primary care doctor. A week afterwards, she had an appointment at City of Hope.
Our “behind the scenes” efforts won’t cure Rosie’s cancer but we sure hope it gives her a fighting chance. We hope you will lift up Rosie with your positive thoughts and prayers.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Doing your taxes can be complicated, even for the most financially savvy among us.
Young & Healthy has embarked on a new service with our partners at Day One. We are helping people with their taxes. You might say, “Hmmm, what does that have to do with healthcare?” As it turns out, filing a tax return can have quite a lot to do with healthcare.
Poverty is considered to be a social determinant of health. There is a connection between our financial health and our physical and emotional health. If we can lift people out of poverty, even a little, we can help to improve their health. So, Young & Healthy is helping people with their taxes. Many very low-income families are not required to file taxes, however, right now there is a huge advantage in doing so.
If you file your taxes, you will also qualify for the government stimulus checks that have been provided during the pandemic. Some families will also qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Both of these programs put dollars into the hands of the most vulnerable families and Young & healthy is happy to be a part of this.
On Saturday, a father with small children came into the Young & Healthy office to get assistance with his taxes, hoping to qualify for one of the programs mentioned above. He did qualify, but he also got some unexpected and wonderful news. The tax preparer informed him that because he and his wife provide full-time care for his elderly and disabled mother, he can claim his mother as a dependent. Doing so gives him an additional deduction on his taxes, which significantly boosts his tax return. More money for the family equates to less health injuring stress.
You don’t know what you don’t know, unless someone takes the time to tell you. Young & Healthy is taking the time to educate and help those who don’t know that they are eligible for such tax benefits. In turn, many families can lead a healthier life.
Going the Extra Mile
A high-school student with a broken wrist was referred to Young & Healthy. Being brand new in the area (aka America), the boy was slow to get attention for his wrist. Instead, we did not hear of his situation until at least a week after the wrist was hurt. This allowed plenty of time for the wrist to begin to set and start to heal, but not correctly and not without pain. One of our Young & Healthy volunteer doctors put a cast on the wrist, but it wasn’t going to be perfect. Follow-up physical therapy was needed, but the boy’s father had consistently long work days that did not allow him to take his son to physical therapy appointments. So, the boy needed to go by himself. He had never utilized public transportation before and did not know his way around in his new city, so our empathetic case manager took screen shots of the different stops on Google Maps and sent them to the boy to help him navigate the route. Talk about going above and beyond!
Making Connections Can Make All the Difference
After answering many questions for a client that phoned the office, our insurance outreach specialist asked if there was any other help that Young & Healthy could lend. The client responded stating that her husband wasn’t working and that only her eldest daughter was currently employed, but with reduced hours. This family of seven, with two members under the age of two, was clearly struggling just to eat. Young & Healthy was able to connect with the family’s caseworker at CalFresh to explain the situation at hand and get them assistance. We also reached out to one of our community partners, Families in Transition, and they were able to set up food delivery for the needy family.
What a Relief
Jessica was having issues accessing care and utilizing her Covered CA insurance. Upon her attempt to straighten out the insurance issues, she was incorrectly directed to Medi-Cal. The time that she was forced to spend entangled in the healthcare “web” forced Jessica to have to delay several necessary and already scheduled surgeries.
Though Jessica had heard of Young & Healthy before, she forgot about us until she was at a dead end and had nowhere else to go. When she connected with our office, one of our case managers was able to resolve in a single afternoon what had already taken 3 months for Jessica to try to figure out. As a result, Jessica was able to go back onto a Covered CA plan and her needed surgeries have been rescheduled.