K.M. is 50 years old and lives in Clay County. He has chronic back and knee pain and cannot stand for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Five years ago, he was diagnosed with polycythemia, a condition that makes his blood clot too quickly. K.M. worked in a warehouse and for a lawn company but could not stand for long periods of time without his legs swelling. In order to be gainfully employed, K.M. needs to receive care for his chronic, debilitating conditions. K.M. tried to apply for health insurance through the Marketplace, but did not qualify for discounts and could not afford the plans. He then applied for Medicaid but was told he must apply for disability in order to be eligible for Medicaid. K.M. has applied for disability twice and been denied each time. He has applied for Medicaid three times but was told he is ineligible each time. K.M. is one of hundreds of thousands of Missourians who can’t afford insurance through the Marketplace but does not qualify for Medicaid. He is stuck in the Medicaid Gap, unable to work until he has access to health care.
“Everyone wants to be healthy and take care of themselves. Without insurance, I can’t be productive and self-sufficient.”