Peggy* is a 35-year old woman from St. Louis County. She is uninsured and has serious, debilitating anxiety. She is in the Medicaid gap. After she lost her health insurance in 2012, she was no longer able to see a psychiatrist to learn necessary “coping skills” or obtain prescription anxiety medication. As a result, her anxiety worsened to the point where, in her words, “it is hard for me to function.”
Her anxiety has prevented her from holding a job. Her temporary, bare-bones insurance plan will end in a year and she worries whether she will be able to afford health insurance that will cover her mental health disability. If Missouri expanded Medicaid, deterioration in mental health access can be prevented, and people, like Peggy, will be able to get proper, timely care for their behavioral health problems.
*Name changed at the request of the individual