The Insurance Rollercoaster

"The problem for me has been navigating what happens when you go on and off insurance. I believe that health care consumers are the heart of the health care system and must have a strong voice on how any bureaucracy is governed - we need to have a real seat at the table," said Katie McLaughlin of Sandwich, Mass.

After her office abruptly closed in 2009, she lost her health insurance, and her family found themselves in a cycle of being insured by different carriers, and being without health insurance at all. During this time, her husband was undergoing a six-month treatment sequence for Hepatitis C.

"We incurred a wide variety of costs and had to navigate a huge bureaucracy," she said. "Throughout the process of going on and off and on insurance, I had to coordinate all sorts of technicalities. My husband had to undergo a lengthy treatment process for his hepatitis, which he could not just start and stop depending on our health insurance status."

The Massachusetts Campaign for Better Care helped McLaughlin testify at a public hearing on payment reform in Sandwich on July 8, 2011 focused on providing access to better, more affordable health care.

"We need to make sure that the consumer and patient interest is well represented as we move toward Accountable Care Organizations or any other model. We need to be treated with respect by any agency that is set up and in order to do that, we need to have our voice heard," she said.

The Campaign for Better Care works to ensure that care is accessible and available to patients when they need it. The Campaign's goal is to fundamentally change how health care is delivered, ensure that care is coordinated and patient-centered.

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