When Jake, a 32-year-old in Joplin, had a window accidentally slam onto and break his hand while taking down decorations in December 2017, he said he wrapped it up with an ace bandage and endured working one-handed. Jake is a college graduate and bartender, and although he works three jobs, he is unable to afford medical health insurance and has been uninsured since he was 15. Jake has three daughters who he shares custody with and who receive coverage through Missouri’s Children’s Health Insurance Program.
He makes too much to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford any Marketplace plans, even with a premium tax discount. “With as varying as my income is, due to the nature of my current occupation, nearly all my money goes to my rent and kids,” he said. Jake says he makes enough to get by, but an insurance premium doesn’t fit into his budget. “I haven’t even bought new shoes for myself in well over a year.” If Missouri expanded Medicaid, Jake and others like him could have peace of mind knowing that when accidents happen, they can get the care they need.