Jessi relied on Medicaid while she was a single mom attending college and caring for her 8-year-old son. A traumatic head injury left Jessi unable to work while also going to school and raising her son. Because of her injury, it took her longer to process information, but she succeeded in finishing her degree and now works as an occupational therapy assistant. Thanks to Medicaid, Jessi was able to receive the treatment and rehab she needed after her injury.
Now, she still experiences some symptoms that keep her from working full-time, but she doesn’t qualify for full disability. Jessi is currently covered through her husband’s employer plan but has received insurance through the Marketplace when she previously worked at a small business that couldn’t afford to give health coverage to their employees. Jessi says the best insurance she received was coverage through Medicaid. Now, she feels like she’s constantly fighting with the insurance company for them to cover things. Jesse says, “it’s not black and white. It’s not either you can make a lot of money or you’re completely disabled and qualify for benefits. There’s a gray area where people fall between the cracks where they can’t make a good enough living because of something like a head injury or other disability. Taking away health care makes it difficult to go to work. Without having that kind of safety net we probably would have lost our jobs.”