Governor Brown: Don’t make Californians choose between getting care and losing their homes
By Consumers Union on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Older 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.
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Thanks to an outdated law, California can seize the estate of those over age 55 on Medi-Cal to cover the cost of their routine healthcare.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.