Britt is a St. Louis resident and dental student. She and her family spent time caring for her grandmother after she had a brain bleed occur during a spinal tap in April 2019. Britt’s grandmother suffered from paralysis and though she had Medicare and a supplemental plan, she couldn’t qualify for Medicaid because she and her husband owned a home-her asset limit being too great disqualified her from qualifying for Medicaid despite her low income. Britt wonders, “Why even have a supplemental plan if it doesn’t cover things?” One of the medications Britt’s grandmother needed cost $900- a price much too steep for her to afford out of pocket.
Britt witnessed a serious lack of communication happening between hospitals as her grandmother was moved from place to place. In one instance, they were going to remove a stomach tube before it was safe to do so. There was also no continuous physical therapy or consistent housing available for her grandmother after she left the hospital. Eventually, Britt’s grandmother came to live at home with Britt and her family, but still she did not qualify for in-home medical care. “It was scary for us and bad for her”, Britt states.
Britt’s grandmother passed away in February 2020. “If she had qualified for Medicaid or in-home care, she definitely would have made it more than six months, hell, maybe a year. She would have been a person again.” Rather than spending her last months receiving quality end of life care, Britt’s grandmother was bounced from hospital to hospital, critical information was missed and bills were left unpaid. Britt believes much of this would have been resolved and her grandmother’s quality of life would have been significantly better had her grandmother been able to qualify for Medicaid.