Despite being an adjunct history professor at two different colleges, Dennis delivers pizza on the weekends to make ends meet. He has been uninsured for most of his adult life because he falls into the Coverage Gap- making too much to qualify for Medicaid yet too little to afford a subsidized plan on the insurance Marketplace. Dennis pays out of pocket to see a primary care physician every couple years because of his high blood pressure, but if he were to have a serious health problem like a heart attack, his family would be in financial ruin. At age 43, Dennis knows he’s reaching an age when detecting health problems early becomes increasingly more important. If Missouri expanded Medicaid, people like Dennis wouldn’t have to live in constant worry that a health issue will lead their family to bankruptcy.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t have any other options unless I want to leave teaching,” Dennis said. “Maybe I’m not doing a glamorous job, but I deserve the same access to health care as someone working at a Fortune 500 company.”