Theresa is a Johnson County mom of four who has tried and struggled many times to get health insurance. She first attempted to contact an insurance office but was referred to the Medicaid program. However, when Theresa tried to apply for Medicaid, she was told that she made too much money to qualify. In Missouri, an adult with three children who makes more than $300 per month cannot qualify for Medicaid but does not earn enough to obtain subsidies through the private market place.
Without insurance, Theresa is forced to go directly to the emergency room when she experiences an injury or infection. Hospital bills have continued to add up and place a heavy burden on Theresa. As a single mother of four boys and a full-time job, she already struggles with the day-to-day activities of caring for her family. Theresa has said that she tries to keep the debt from getting her down. “I’ve learned to live with it,” she said. “I keep telling my boys, you are all going to college. Do not ever think you’re going to get any kind of government assistance, because that’s stressful.” In Theresa’s own words, “I am one of over 6,000 Missourians in Johnson County alone that lack health insurance and would benefit if Senator Pearce would stand up for working families like mine and advocate for Medicaid expansion.”