Mom calls NBC12 for help through healthcare red tape - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Mom calls NBC12 for help through healthcare red tape

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A Chesterfield mom called 12 On Your Side for help, after struggling to work through problem after problem with the Affordable Care Act. All the while, her daughter's vision was on the line.

Crystal Carino had baby Grace at the end of January. Straight away, she tried to register Grace through the Affordable Care Act. Grace was born with a medical condition that requires urgent medical care. Blood vessels above her eye are causing a growth that could impair vision or even leave her blind in that eye. 

The government responded without a policy number for Grace, saying she probably qualifies for Medicaid, but Crystal says she didn't want to wait for that. She's willing to pay the full cost of insurance to get grace healthcare coverage right away. She says Grace's vision may depend on it. While they wait for approval, again, all of Grace's expenses are out of pocket.

"It's just been hard," said Carino. "We're looking at about $10,000 in medical bills right now. I've told everybody that I've talked to every single day that she's sick."

Carino claims she has called the marketplace daily to follow up.

"She needs the insurance so we can start her treatments and everything like that. And they just document it and say, 'I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do. By policy, we still have 30 days to tell you.'"

Carino says that's not good enough. Grace can't wait. 

"I'm stuck. I'm hopeless as a mother," Carino told us Thursday morning. 

She called 12 On Your Side for help, and we took her question straight to the White House Press Office. Within hours of our call, Crystal says someone called her about Grace's policy and finally gave her the answer she needed: Grace's policy will arrive in just days. 

This also means Grace will finally be able to get her 2-month-old shots. Meanwhile, her employer, Michael and Sons, has been collecting money for the family to help with some of the initial costs.

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