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Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum: Health Care

Health Care for Me

Home Jane Ka'ala Pang, RN, PHN Jane Ka'ala Pang, RN, PHN

Jane Ka'ala Pang, RN, PHN

Retired Nurse, PIHP Full Time Volunteer Program Manager

Before health care reform, I had a client who was not able to afford health coverage and was able to get Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) coverage once she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but only for 18 months. My client is a home caregiver and developed breast cancer without any medical or financial resources. She requested support and referral from Pacific Islander Health Partnership. She completed a full diagnostic evaluation (with financial support from her children for initial workup) and received full chemotherapy once a tissue diagnosis was made. She was able to obtain Medi-Cal coverage for 18 months, but will face serious financial concerns when her benefits expire as she will continue to need oral chemotherapy. Her medication costs exceed her current caregiving income and she will not be able to afford her chemotherapy medicine once her Medi-Cal benefits expire.

Health care reform is important to me our clients will be able to gain access to quality, affordable coverage and won’t have to decide between paying for my medication or other vital expenses.