When Tanine Murdock became eligible for Medicare, she was hesitant to sign up.
“I got penalized for the few years that I didn’t take [Medicare] once I reached 65,” says Murdock. “That was my choice. I wasn’t getting a lot of money from Social Security, and it didn’t make sense. I was well, I didn’t have any severe medical problems, and I wasn’t on a lot of medication. So it didn’t make sense for me to put out money, you know, and I wasn’t using [the Medicare plan].”
Instead, Murdock sought out alternative sources of medical care.
“I was getting my medical care at the Board of Health and then I was also on a committee there,” says Murdock. “I was invited to be on the advisory council there, so I had knowledge of the community clinic starting in the same building right there.”
“Around the first of the year about four years ago, when the downsizing started at the Board of Health, I went to the community clinic,” says Murdock. “So I was over there for a couple of years until Obamacare came on board. That clinic, if you didn’t have any insurance or Medicare or Medicaid, you qualified to be in the clinic, and they took extremely good care of me and the rest of the patients. It wasn’t a crowded place, the atmosphere was good. And then Obamacare came and I was forced to get my Medicare.”
Murdock met with a Navigator who enrolled Murdock, but left her unsure of how to use her new coverage plan. Murdock admits that she was wary of the change and did not actively pursue utilizing her Medicare coverage for some time. During a trip to her local food pantry, Murdock met Campaign for Better Health Care Navigator Cheryl Gay.
“I went to [Gay] and it didn’t make any difference to her where I was in life or what I needed or didn’t need or who I was,” says Murdock. “She was determined to put me on the right track and that’s what she did. Whatever box I was in, whatever mental box I was in, she helped me get out of that and move forward and it was so simple.”
Gay informed Murdock of how the Medicare program had improved under the Affordable Care Act, expanding to provide increased benefits, including savings on preventative care and prescriptions. She helped Murdock to apply for additional financial assistance through Medicaid.
In the interim, Murdock made an appointment at a facility she had never visited before, the Miles Square Health Center in Chicago. She says that she had a minor medical issue that she needed addressed, as well as information on her prescriptions, a flu shot, and a mammogram.
“On Medicare, things are just rolling right along,” says Murdock. “They didn’t ask for a co-pay; I didn’t have to be concerned about that.”
Murdock is still waiting on her Medicaid determination but says that she has been receiving her necessary prescriptions at very little cost in the interim.
“I am grateful, ecstatic,” says Murdock. “Nothing but good professional people around with getting into the Obamacare thing. I am really, really grateful to you guys.”