Insurance Mix-Up Leaves Military Family in Trouble
Family finds relief in VFW Unmet Needs
March 15, 2012
Afghanistan, Army National Guard SPC Jesse Clark jumped from a helicopter nine
feet off the ground while loaded with all of his gear. Ever since he has
suffered back pain and leg numbness, which doctors attribute to damaged disks
in his back. Jesse was honorably discharged, and between his frequent medical appointments
and pain medications, he is unable to work.
“This injury has
been an ongoing problem for Jesse since his return to the States in November
2010. He has been receiving heavy pain medication treatment since June
2011,” explained Jesse’s wife, Stephanie.
Since Jesse was
discharged, the Clarks’ Tricare health insurance was scheduled to expire months
later, and they would need to switch to another plan. Unfortunately, due to
miscommunication the Clarks were never clear on precisely when it would
expire, and were ultimately left with no healthcare coverage at all.
“The last thing any
military family should have to worry about is having health coverage benefits,
especially once they're a combat veteran,” said Stephanie.
On top of Jesse’s
various medical appointments and medications, Stephanie too needed medical care
for a newly diagnosed condition while uninsured.
The medical bills
piled up, and they tried everything they could to keep their heads above water. Stephanie
began reaching out to various organizations for help, but with no success.
The Clarks would
find relief in VFW’s Unmet Needs program when Stephanie applied for a grant.
“The associate from
the organization who handled our case was a pleasure to deal with. He told
me exactly what else was required and assured me he would try his best to get
denied for an Unmet Needs grant, Stephanie immediately sent a letter pleading
for an appeal. She cited specific evidence she felt should guide them to a different
conclusion. The appeal worked. The Clarks’ case was reviewed a second time, and
this time they were approved for a grant.
The grant enabled the
Clarks to catch up on their bills and breathe a sigh of relief. A few weeks
later, the Clarks received a welcome surprise when the Unmet Needs program sent
them a $250 Wal-Mart gift card, which helped the Clarks cover some needed car repairs.
“We had a
great experience. I look forward to a long-standing and giving relationship
with the VFW and their Unmet Needs program,” said
To learn more about
Unmet Needs program and other VFW National Military Services programs,
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