Young Man Finds Purpose With Help from UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas

Men and woman
Stock Image

For years, Andy’s mild intellectual disability, mood swings and obesity eroded his self-confidence, preventing him from making friends or applying for jobs. By the time he was 25, Andy weighed nearly 350 pounds.

It wasn’t until he joined the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas that Andy found the people and resources he needed to change his life for the better.

The UnitedHealthcare Community Plan helps eligible families and individuals find affordable Medicaid and Medicare plans. It offers a wide range of options for qualifying expectant mothers, their babies, children up to the age of 19, adults and families, seniors, and people living with disabilities and other hardships.

As part of his health plan, Andy receives Medicaid benefits and case management services. His case management team encourages him to adopt healthier behaviors, including seeking more social interaction and considering a weight loss program. During a supervisory home visit with Andy last year, two case managers noticed a slash on his cheek, perilously close to his eye. When asked about the injury, Andy said it was a knife wound from a gang fight the previous night.

Vulnerable to gang influence

“We were extremely concerned about him,” said Andy’s UHC Community Plan case manager. It was clear to them that Andy was a lonely young man in search of peer acceptance. The case managers helped Andy understand the dangers of associating with gang members and suggested an alternative to staying home alone all day: attending a day program at an adult daycare facility.

In the past, Andy had enjoyed the nutritious meals and caring staff at his local adult daycare facility, but he’d stopped attending because depression made it daunting for him to get out of bed in the morning. The center would send transportation to his house, but he often wouldn’t emerge from his room.

Adult daycare center: A place to belong

To re-engage Andy, his case managers enlisted the help of Mike, the adult daycare facility’s owner, someone Andy knew and trusted.

“I asked Mike to call Andy and warn him about the dangers of gangs,” said the case manager. She also thought Andy might decide to start attending the adult daycare again if he knew Mike cared about his welfare and would welcome him back.

Their intuition was right. Soon after the call, Andy agreed to start attending the center on a regular basis. Now, Andy never misses a day. In fact, he helps Mike open the center in the mornings.

Through the Community Plan of Texas and his case managers, Andy is living a healthier lifestyle and has found an important sense of belonging and purpose, along with much needed structure to his days.