Sandy, St. Louis City

Sandy has been a personal dog trainer for over 20 years and recently decided to go into business for herself after being let go from a company in February 2019. While she was excited for her new business venture, working for herself meant she no longer had health insurance. Sandy did what she could to find an affordable plan but was quoted $900/a month for private insurance and the marketplace insurance was also too expensive for her. She has applied for Medicaid but as a single adult with no children, she was denied for making too much money to qualify despite making a modest income. This left Sandy in the Medicaid Gap as she pursued her business venture as a dog trainer.

While on the job, Sandy fell in a client’s home and broke her right arm. Sandy feels that her treatment in the emergency room was effected by the medical staff realizing her uninsured status. She notes that after a severe break like hers she expected to be seen soon after her initial visit for a checkup but was scheduled a checkup a month later. During Sandy’s follow up appointment her brace was taken off and sandy states that “the bone was still visibly pushing out and it hurt to the touch”. Despite the severity of pain Sandy was in she states that the doctor spent about ten minutes with her and neglected to state the results of the most recent x-ray, how to care for herself and refused to prescribe pain medication and recommended she take Tyenol instead.

Sandy is currently unable to work and relies on her daughter to help her bathe and get dressed. She wakes up every night in excruciating pain and reaches out to friends in the medical field for advice on how best to care for herself. Sandy states that if she had Medicaid she would have much better treatment plans from doctors when she had medical emergencies like this one and would receive the medication she needs more easily. As it stands, she is worried that her bone will not heal properly and even if it does heal, she knows she will need physical therapy which she currently cannot afford. Sandy wants people to know that she wants to work. As she states, “I love my job. I love to work. I love training dogs but without health insurance, I have no idea how I will be able to get back to work. Without a healed arm, I can’t do anything”.