Ioan Matis—Chicago, IL
Ioan Matis [pictured above with girlfriend Barbara Frills] was forced to leave work due to poor health. Thanks to his new health care coverage, he was able to see the necessary doctors.
When Ioan Matis left his native Romania to live in the States, he drove taxi cabs to make a living. Matis made a 20 year career from driving cabs until recently, when he was forced to stop due to a variety of health issues.
Various symptoms plagued Matis, says his girlfriend Barbara Frills, speaking on Matis’ behalf due to a language barrier. Matis, who was uninsured as long as he was a taxi driver, avoided going to the doctor, as the couple knew that they could not afford the costs of tests and possible treatments.
“He would get advice when there was a problem,” says Frills. “We would call and get advice from a doctor, or give a doctor the symptoms, or we’d go to the pharmacy and they’d recommend something over the counter.”
Matis knew that he suffered from hypertension, but the specifics of his condition remained a mystery says Frills. Frills, who is unemployed due to disability, says that she has the benefit of a Medicaid medical card; the couple sought out a means to secure Medicaid coverage for Matis as well.
A fellow member of the couple’s church was recently enrolled in the state’s Medicaid expansion program through Campaign for Better Health Care (CBHC) and passed along the contact information for CBHC Navigator Cheryl Gay. The couple set up an appointment for Matis.
“She was very pleasant,” says Frills of Gay. “She helped us understand everything.”
Once Matis was enrolled, he made a doctor’s appointment—his first in a long time. Frills says that the doctors completed a variety of tests, and that the couple waited anxiously for the news.
Happily, Matis and Frills were met with great news: there were no complications from Matis’ hypertension. In fact, they hypertension itself had been alleviated. Unfortunately, the restoration of Matis’ normal blood pressure levels came at the price of taking time off and losing much-needed income, but Matis now hopes to return to work very shortly.
“Everything has been great, and I thank Cheryl and [Campaign for Better Health Care] for introducing us to this health plan,” says Frills.