Governor Brown: Don’t make Californians choose between getting care and losing their homes

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By Consumers Union on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Take action: Tell Governor Jerry Brown to sign SB1124. 

IMG_5502Older Californians shouldn’t have to choose between getting health insurance and losing their homes – but that’s the choice I’m facing after finding out about California’s policy of recovering the assets of those over 55 on Medi-Cal after they die.

I bought my home in San Bruno, California in 1975 and have lived in it since then – that’s 39 years. I have no plans to sell my house. My daughter has lived here since she was born in 1977, and she and my two-year-old granddaughter live in the house today. This is “home” for them as much as it is for me.

I got health insurance through Medi-Cal last year, after 19 years of being uninsured. During that time, I never had a checkup with a doctor. I went to the emergency room for care when it was urgent, sometimes waiting 6 hours to be seen. But health reform made it possible for me to get the care I needed. Just a week after I enrolled I had a medical emergency and had to see a doctor immediately. My knee had swollen to three times its size and I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk. Without health insurance coverage, I don’t know what I would have done.

I didn’t know when I enrolled in Medi-Cal that I would owe the state for the cost of my healthcare. I never received any kind of notification. Now I’m facing the possibility that I won’t be able to pass on my home to my family. Health reform in California made health insurance available to everyone. But for me and others in my situation, it comes at a huge cost. I have no idea how much I owe Medi-Cal – and I can’t be sure that my daughter and grand-daughter won’t be left without a home.

Please sign this bill into law. This policy is unfair, and takes away the Affordable Care Act’s promise of peace of mind and financial security. I and other Californians are working hard to care for ourselves and our families – don’t force us to make an impossible choice.

Everil Lovrin
San Bruno, California

Thanks to an outdated law, California can seize the estate of those over age 55 on Medi-Cal to cover the cost of their routine healthcare. SB 1124 would stop this from happening.

Take action: Tell Governor Jerry Brown to sign SB1124. 

 

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