S.C. is a Springfield mom who fell in the coverage gap when she needed help the most. S.C. always had insurance through her job until 2014. She was working as a single mother with her ten-month old son, dealing with the stress of her work, postpartum depression, and anxiety that affected her ability to work. She was fired on the day she would have qualified for health insurance.
While her son was able to qualify for Medicaid, S.C. could not qualify when working full-time or on unemployment: her income was too high to qualify in both cases. “I hated being stuck where I wasn’t wealthy enough to pay for it on my own, but also couldn’t get the help I needed”, she states. Going without health insurance made it hard to manage her health. In addition to the mental health struggles listed, S. C. also had to manage type 1 diabetes, allergies and a severe back injury. S.C. went without insurance for 6 months. In regards to her mental health S.C. states, “My depression got ten times worse when I couldn’t have anyone to talk to.” Luckily, she was able to access free therapy sessions through National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI).
Eventually, S.C. got a new position that came with insurance benefits that immediately started when she was hired. She met her husband and they married three years later. She is now on his insurance and is a stay-at-home mom with her now 5-year old son. “I had worked for the same employer for thirteen years before taking a new position and subsequently getting fired. When I needed help, I couldn’t get it. I consider myself privileged, but how can I make too much money receiving un-employment and not qualify for health care I couldn’t afford otherwise?” S.C. is grateful for how her story turned out but having lived through it, understands the way Missouri’s Medicaid program does not benefit those that need it most.