Chris & Leilani, Jasper County

Chris and Leilani live with their three children in Jasper County. Chris works several part-time jobs. Leilani takes care of their children, one of whom needs special care because of a liver transplant. Frequent medical visits out of town are necessary so that their child can remain stable and healthy. Leilani’s caregiving is full-time work. In 2011, Joplin’s F5 tornado destroyed Chris and Leilani’s belongings and rendered their rental house uninhabitable. Fortunately, they were able to purchase a Habitat for Humanity home the following year. They worked hard to build their Habitat home. Chris is seeking full-time work. Although he appreciates the flexibility of his current jobs, which enable him to help Leilani on days when their child has medical appointments, a full-time job would likely come with health insurance. He and Leilani currently do without health insurance because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to qualify for Marketplace subsidies. They try to stay healthy and go to the doctor when they need to, but Chris says,

“The costs of urgent care are high, and I can’t afford them.”

Stress is high with a special needs child, and Chris worries for Leilani’s health because most of the daily care falls on her. Having health insurance would give them comfort in knowing that they can receive medical care when they need it.