Transcript: Special Needs Initiative helps remove health care barriers for Illinois twins

Calm piano music plays. In a living room, a brunette mother and bearded father, Christy and Drew, sit on a plush grey sectional with their three children. The father holds a blond baby boy, Leo, on his lap while the mother holds the boy’s twin, a blonde baby girl named Lucy, on hers. Between them, a young girl with pigtails named Daisy peeks out. Lucy has Down syndrome while the others in the family are non-disabled.

ON SCREEN TEXT:       Hoffman Estates, IL

DREW: …blow kisses?

Christy blows an exaggerated kiss toward Leo.

DREW: Nice Leo!

Now Drew interviews while he and Christy continue to play with their children.

DREW: My name is Drew Kasper. This is my wife, Christy. We have three kids. Daisy is the oldest.

Daisy playfully covers her mouth with her hand and smiles at Lucy, then uncovers her mouth. Lucy watches her.

DAISY: Mmmmmmaaa.

A photograph shows Lucy and Leo as infants in red striped sweaters lying on their bellies.

DREW: Twins Lucy and Leo are sixteen months.

The view focuses on Lucy in the photo. In a slideshow, pictures show Lucy recovering from surgery in a hospital room.

DREW: Lucy has Down syndrome. When she was nine days old she actually had to have surgery

on her intestines and stayed at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital downtown for a month. Very overwhelmed in the beginning of, you know, I know she’s gonna need therapy.

Christy and Drew sit side-by-side on the couch and interview.

ON SCREEN TEXT:       Drew Kasper


DREW: I remember just not knowing, really, what the next step was or what to even reach out to.

Christy nods empathetically. A photo shows Leo and Lucy lying in a crib. A photo shows Lucy sleeping face down on a fuzzy cushion.

ON SCREEN TEXT:    The Kasper family

                                    needed help finding

                                    the proper care for

                                    Lucy and navigating

                                    the claims process.


ON SCREEN TEXT:    Through the Special

                                    Needs Initiative, they

                                    were assigned an


A series of photos show Christy in the hospital cradling Lucy to her chest, Christy and Lucy at home smiling for a selfie, and Leo and Lucy on their bellies on the floor in front of the couch.

DREW: Special needs initiative has worked very well for us. Primarily the ease of the quick contact. The single point of contact with our advisor.

The family sit on the sectional with their children while Drew continues to interview.

DREW: It’s extremely helpful to be able to just send an email that you know will go directly to them.

A photo shows Lucy and Leo as infants lying on their backs on a play mat.

DREW: They know Lucy’s story. They know Leo’s story. They know all of our stories.

A woman interviews in an office with a UnitedHealthcare logo on a cabinet behind her.

ON SCREEN TEXT:    Rebecca Madsen

                                    Chief Consumer Officer, UnitedHealthcare

REBECCA: It really is the end-to-end journey of supporting that child and their family as they navigate the health challenges and special needs situation that they’re in.

More photos capture Kasper family moments.

REBECCA: It works with the family on everything from explaining benefits, to helping with a prior authorization, to working with the support--a full support team, to ensuring that they have the clinical navigation of working with their providers, to plugging them into social support programs.

Drew and Christy interview.

DREW: You really get the sense that they are like, I was told no here but I’m gonna try this for you. Okay, I was told no there, but I’m gonna try this for you. Until they’re finally like, I’ve exhausted literally every option, here’s where we’re at, and kind of explain what is going on.

A photo shows Lucy as a toddler sitting on the ground with her leg kicked out to the side, holding herself up with her arms and gazing upward.

DREW: Our advisor’s in our corner. They’re gonna go to bat for us. It’s not just somebody who’s checking the boxes.

Colorful lights flash on a baby-walker. Christy smiles lovingly as Lucy excitedly leans forward and watches the lights.

A man in a suit interviews in an office.

ON SCREEN TEXT:    Tom Kelly

                                    Vice President, UnitedHealth Group

                                    Marketing and Innovation

TOM: We’ve helped well over a hundred thousand families to date. I think the team is doing just tremendous work. But I’m also incredibly hopeful that we can continue to get better and better.

Lucy shakes a ring of colorful plastic toys, her mother sitting on the floor beside her. Daisy giggles on the couch behind them.

TOM: Both how we’re currently offering help to these families, but also in kind of the scope and the depth of the help that we can offer these families.

Christy and Drew sit on the couch with their kids.

CHRISTY: The reduction in stress level that this has given us has been priceless.

A photo shows infant Leo and Lucy lying on a quilt with Daisy between them staring up at the camera.

DREW: You’re more focused on them instead of focused on insurance type problems.

Christy and Drew interview.

ON SCREEN TEXT:    Christy Kasper


CHRISTY: You can’t get time back; they’ll never be babies again.

Christy lies on the floor beside Leo and Lucy. They play with a toy.

CHRISTY: I think about that sometimes, like, I don’t want to clean the house right now. I don’t wanna be on the phone right now.

Drew and Christy play with the twins. Behind them, Daisy reads a book.

CHRISTY: I wanna just enjoy my kids.

The stacked blue U’s of the UnitedHealthcare logo appear.