Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gayla in Hagerstown, Maryland

Gayla in Hagerstown, Maryland
Originally uploaded by walk4healthcare

Gayla told me that she and her husband have been “very lucky.” They’ve had employer-provided insurance through Verizon—“pretty good insurance,” she told me. but Frontier is buying the West Virginia assets of the company, so in ‘the transition’, as she put it, they have no idea what it’ll mean for them. This is important because her son stepson has cystic fibrosis (CF). At age 23 he’s a real survivor. He’s done well but lately, from an insurance standpoint, it’s gotten very complicated.

Based on doctor’s orders, he’s strictly limited to very light work, at a maximum of 30 hours a week. So essentially, as Gayla told me, “He’s stuck with a part-time employment status.” Insurance on his own is not a possibility,” she added. “And he can’t get SSI because he actually can work a little.” And while Verizon promised to cover him (as part of their employer-based coverage) even into adulthood, Gayla and her husband don’t know if that agreement will be honored by the new company. She doubts that it will be.

“It sounds like there are so many cracks in the system,” I said.

“Yes. It’s a real problem. And it’s not abstract—my son’s life depends on it.”

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