I happened to be waiting for a meeting in the reception area of an emergency room the other day when a young mother approached the triage desk with her glassy–eyed blankie–clutching adorable daughter in tow.
She had that “my child is sick and I don’t know what to do” tone in her voice. We hear that tone hundreds of times at Young & Healthy. She asked the triage nurse if this would be considered “an emergency” and would her Medi-Cal cover the visit. She lived around the corner and her doctor was 20 miles away. She just wanted her child to be better. The triage nurse kindly and gently told her they would be happy to see her child but did not know what her Medi-Cal covered. She walked away clearly unsure of what to do next.
Having heard, I asked if I could help, and asked what kind of Medi-Cal she had. She didn’t know. On the spot, I connected her with our case manager, who looked up her Medi-Cal number and could tell her more about the coverage her daughter had.
We just empowered the mom with information and she was able to do the rest.
So much will change in 2014 when more people will have access to health insurance–but having insurance does not necessarily mean you will understand how to use it.
Young & Healthy will be there to be both a safety net and a bridge to care.