PERSONAL STORIES


Through a Health Crisis Together

Read Sharon and Earnest’s story

Sharon Evans

Sharon Evans

Earnest, 59, and Sharon, 57, have been married 22 years. This is their story about what getting coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace meant to them.

Earnest: In July 2013, my wife Sharon was diagnosed with both lung and breast cancer. My immediate thought was that I would need to resign from my job as a vice president for sales of an education company in order to become a full-time caregiver.

Both of Sharon’s parents and her only sister had cancer. The diagnosis was frightening news.

The complication with Earnest’s plan was that he would lose health insurance from his employer. (more…)


Born at 27 Weeks

Read Beth’s story

Beth S

Beth S, Springfield

I am a proud 38 year old mother to a beautiful 2.5 year old girl who was born at 27 weeks.

Since that time, our family has had a host of unexpected and expensive medical challenges.

ObamaCare has given us a little financial peace-of-mind and with all the hurdles are bound to face in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead… a little peace-of-mind goes a long way.

Our daughter has already exceeded all expectations but it hasn’t come easy…or cheap.

Her initial NICU stay came at a cost of over $1.2 million!
(more…)


Family Ends Long Period without Insurance

Read Keith Moens’s story

Keith Moens

Keith Moens (R)

When CBHC first talked with Keith Moens, he and his family were emerging from a long period without health insurance. Having signed up for health coverage through the newly-opened Health Insurance Marketplace, they were pleased to finally have coverage again.

Now, a year later, they are happy with their Marketplace plan and have recently renewed it.

Before losing their jobs, Keith and his wife never had to worry much about health insurance. It was provided by their employers.

Suddenly, they were faced with several untenable options: paying exorbitant premiums for COBRA, finding a private plan despite Keith’s wife’s preexisting condition, or living without health coverage and paying healthcare costs themselves on a limited budget. (more…)


Illinois Teen Gets Covered

Read Johnathan Hill’s story

Johnathan Hill

Johnathan Hill, Hometown

Johnathan spent a year uninsured. Now, thanks to ACA expanded adult Medicaid, he is able to access the care he needs.

About a year ago, Johnathan Hill – then 18 years oldl – found himself uninsured.

Previously covered under his mother’s insurance, Hill and his mother had anticipated that Hill would switch to his father’s plan. Once he had been dropped from his mother’s plan, however, Hill’s father realized that he could not afford to add Johnathan to his coverage plan.

Without coverage from either parent, and no coverage offered by his part-time employer, Johnathan was stuck.

“I didn’t visit the doctor,” says Hill. (more…)


Days Before A Health Emergency

Read Timothy Royce’s story
Timothy Royce

Timothy Royce, Blue Island

Timothy Royce struggled to manage his COPD before he enrolled in Medicaid. Luckily, he enrolled in time to fill his dwindling prescription supply and to cope with an unexpected emergency.

When Timothy Royce slipped and fell in the shower, he was certain he had broken his ribs. Intense pain accompanied a huge bruise along his side. “It really, really hurt,” he says.

Luckily, Royce enrolled in Medicaid just about a week prior to his accident. Royce says that he and his wife got word of a Campaign for Better Health Care navigator, Cheryl Gay, who was enrolling patrons of a local food bank in health care plans. Both decided to enroll during a routine visit to the food bank. (more…)


Veterans Health on Chicago’s Home Fronts

Veterans Health on Chicago’s Home Fronts
Veterans Joe Franzese, Patrick Philipps, Brian Hatlen, Mike Breyne and Chiquita Griffis at a drill weekend at the North Riverside Armory

Illinois Warrior to Warrior Veterans Joe Franzese, Patrick Philipps, Brian Hatlen, Mike Breyne and Chiquita Griffis at a drill weekend at the North Riverside Armory.

Inside the North Riverside Armory just west of Chicago on an unseasonably cold and gray April day, Illinois National Guard members in camouflage stand at attention as several of their colleagues are called forward to be promoted. (more…)

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Illinois Health Matters showcases personal stories that illustrate the difference health reform makes for real people in Illinois.