Healthcare help for the most vulnerable among us

Medical Care Access Coalition provides U.P. clients with lifesaving prescription medication, counseling services

More than a million dollars’ worth of prescription medications.

That’s what the Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) helped procure for its clients in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 2019—among many other essential activities.

With a mission to guide and assist Dickinson and Iron County residents to access optimal health care to meet their individual needs, the organization also provides free counseling services to more than 1,200 clients each year.

“The MCAC was started in 2004 to help those who could not afford medical insurance and who didn’t have insurance. We helped them to obtain prescription medications and see doctors and physicians,” explains Mylynn Trulock, the MCAC’s executive director.

“When the Affordable Health Care Act came into effect, we had to slightly change our scope. At that time, we became Medicare and Medicaid counsellors as well as application counselors for the health insurance marketplace,” she adds.

The MCAC assists vulnerable populations, including elderly, low-income and learning-disabled clients who do not know how to access state Medicaid, federal low-income subsidies, food stamps or commodity foods.

The organization helps these clients find out which type of assistance they are eligible for and complete the application process, something that can be overwhelming on their own.

“Medicare can be so confusing for people. Many of our clients are especially susceptible to scams, so we try to look out for them and help them navigate and understand the system,” Trulock explains.

She points to a testimonial from a recent MCAC client: “Without the assistance offered through MCAC I do not know what would have happened to me—no one should have to be in fear of dying simply due to the fact that the medication needed per month is too expensive.”

Enbridge is committed to improving quality of life in the communities where we operate, and our recent $60,000 will help the MCAC procure another approximately $500,000 of prescription medication for its clients.

“We’ve been operating on reserve funding since 2018 . . . when the representative from Enbridge called and told me we’d received the funding, I just started crying because it has given us at least six more months of our operating budget,” recalls Trulock.

“We were so blessed by Enbridge. I can't even express our and our clients’ gratitude. Our clients have truly turned into friends after working together for so long and we’re so thankful to be able to keep supporting them.”