Kendra was on Medicaid until her ex-husband started a job that exceeded the income limits by about $100. She has multiple chronic health problems and is disabled. Without her Medicaid coverage, Kendra could not afford her life-saving oxygen. Kendra was briefly uninsured then was able to get on her ex-husband’s insurance which covered her medications and inhalers but did not provide much financial relief otherwise. With insurance, copays were still $150 and her oxygen was not covered. Kendra has now gone two years without oxygen and often wakes up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
Kendra is now navigating how to get healthcare coverage while she transitions off of her ex-husband’s insurance plan. She is on twenty-nine medications, a combined cost of $8,000 without insurance. Kendra spent five years fighting to get on disability and was only awarded $1,100 a month. Without insurance, Kendra is worried she will have to rely on her family members again for support. During her fight for disability coverage Kendra had to file bankruptcy so she could survive and she is worried she will be in a similar situation if she can’t qualify for Medicaid before expansion take effect. Despite it all, she remains hopeful and is relieved to know that she will definitely qualify for Medicaid later in the year now that it has been expanded. The night Medicaid expansion passed Kendra says, “my whole family was so excited for me. I had calls coming in from all over because they knew what this meant for me. We were cheering and celebrating here at home”.