Shelley lives in Greene County by herself. She has no form of insurance and only receives care through the services available at a local community health center. Almost four years ago, doctors found a cyst growing on Shelley’s ovaries and multiple tumors on her uterus. However, due to her high blood pressure, she was unable to get the immediate surgery she needed. Doctors placed Shelley on medication until surgery was appropriate. Shortly after her diagnosis, Shelley lost her job and no longer had insurance that would cover her surgery. This was almost four years ago. Since then, Shelley has been homeless and unable to maintain a stable job. “I lost my apartment, healthcare, and my access to blood pressure medication, and medication for my cyst…Lost about everything I owned.” Without income, Shelley cannot afford a plan on the Marketplace, and likely won’t receive Medicaid without being declared disabled. If Missouri expanded Medicaid, Shelley would qualify as a candidate for Medicaid and finally get the proper medical treatment that she needs.
“I am not ready to give up on myself and be on disability. I want to work…if I could have gotten the surgery that I needed, I would have been employed these past four years,” Shelley reflects.