Helping Pennsylvanians Realize the Promise of Medicaid Expansion
Last month, the daughter of an uninsured woman (“Lacy Moore”) with multiple health conditions sought PHLP’s help. She did not want to lose her mother to illness but feared the future.
Despite suffering from uncontrolled diabetes, bipolar disorder, and high blood pressure, Mrs. Moore had not had health insurance since her husband passed away seven years ago. The 58-year-old Allegheny County resident used part of her modest pension of $512 per month to pay doctors and buy medications out–of-pocket. Her daughter often helped her buy insulin, which costs nearly $200 each month.
Mrs. Moore should have Medicaid. She applied in mid-December 2014, but she received no response from state officials in the intervening two months: no one answered the phone at the local county assistance office, and the online system said her application was still being processed.
PHLP requested the administrator at the local office speed review Mrs. Moore’s application based on her health problems. When the official raised a problem verifying Ms. Moore’s income, and then an issue regarding bank transfers, PHLP helped the family verify Ms. Moore’s pension income and the transfers from her daughter (that she used to buy insulin).
Two weeks after her daughter contacted PHLP, Lacy Moore had health insurance for the first time in seven years, and can regularly see a doctor and take medications to control her blood sugar and her blood pressure. The Moores now have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that diabetes need not lead to premature death.