Over the past few months of serving in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, I have interviewed hundreds of patients for Medical Insurance eligibility. Of these patients, the ones that stand out the most are the ones who know this benefit is available, but for some reason have had applications continually denied. In all cases, specific information is needed by the County Assistance Office to determine eligibility for Health Insurance. In most cases there has been a miscommunication in what information was needed, which results in a denied application. My position requires me to know the proper information needed and collect that from the patient. It is quite obvious from the start that some patients have been through this process before.
The process of applying for insurance takes approximately 6 weeks, and to have that wait end up with a denial is both frustrating and demoralizing for the parents of these children. This is particularly true for single parents with multiple children, which brings one specific case to mind. The single parent of three children who was also going to school while working two part time jobs came to me for assistance. She had already sent two separate applications to the County Assistance Office, but those applications were denied. After an interview I had her return the proper documentation, and submitted them on her behalf. After 6 weeks we received a letter that stated that the children were now enrolled in free medical insurance. The look of relief on that mother’s face was priceless. With so much on her plate I know that she now has one less thing to worry about.
Name: Joe Mortimer
Position: Insurance Specialist, Health Center 10
Degree: Exercise Science, University of Pittsburgh ‘12
Why did you join the Health Corps: My career goal is to be a Physical Therapist; but I wanted experience in a different health related field. Learning about and working with health insurance is certainly something that will help me in the future no matter what career path I choose.
Favorite thing about Philly: Being born and raised in this sports-loving, hardworking, blue collar city. I also love cheesesteaks and scrapple.