Tia Pratt is a 24-year-old server at a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. Like many young working people in Missouri she falls into the Medicaid gap. Tia was on Medicaid when she was younger, but she aged out after turning 19. Tia is a college student majoring in elementary education.Without health insurance, Tia does not have access to preventative care. She has had shoulder pain for three years as well as lumps in her neck that cause her pain daily. She can’t get either of these symptoms looked at by a medical professional and is worried about the severity of both. Tia also has diagnosed mental health issues which she cannot afford to see a therapist about and unfortunately also had to stop taking medication abruptly due to the cost.
In addition to missing out on preventative and maintenance care, Tia also states that, “It’s hard to keep track of my medical history because I don’t have a regular doctor”. She goes on to say, “access to women’s health screenings is a problem and as an added bonus, no dental care until the pain is so bad I can’t take it”. When asked what Medicaid expansion would mean for her, Tia states, “I could get treatment for mental health, physical therapy, and have a healthier happier life. I could stop using google as my doctor”.