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A California family's experience with health care reform

Health care reform has already been a major help to my family.

My mother is 93 years old and is on a number of medications. She takes at least 5 brand name medications for which no generic exists at this time. She is currently in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, and last month we paid $1800.00 for her medications for only 1 month's supply. Unfortunately, neither my mom nor my family can afford this level of expenditures for her medicine on an ongoing basis, but we are afraid to discontinue her medications because of the risk to her health. Last month, I spent about $800 of my own funds trying to help her, which meant that I was unable to pay many of my own necessary bills.

Thanks to Obama's health care reform legislation, next year, my mom will be getting a $250 rebate check for her medications and next year will get a 50% discount on her brand name medications, which will help tremendously. The legislation will ultimately close the doughnut hole, which is what needs to happen.

I also have "good" health coverage through my employer, but it had a lifetime coverage cap (a $ amount). Since I have a number of health conditions that have required treatment and plan to remain with my current job long-term, removal of the lifetime "cap" on insurance benefits is very helpful. Also, the fact that insurers can no longer deny coverage based on preexisting conditons will be very helpful if I do end up changing jobs. Otherwise, I would be concerned that even if a change in employment would give me better opportunities, I might be unable to obtain full health coverage.

Thank you.

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