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Sick and in Constant Search for Affordable Medical Care
By: Nicole G., Lee County
In 2015 I went to the Emergency Room at Cape Coral Hospital. I’d been extremely sick for about two years. I had no idea what was wrong. My symptoms became more progressive so my husband took me to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a week the first time and a week the second time I went in.
The Surgeon was sure that I had Crones Disease. He and I discussed my long-term symptoms and he was clear that was the issue. The GI specialist disagreed. So, I left the hospital without a diagnosis. This was detrimental to my health because no doctor would treat me without a clear diagnosis.
At the time I did not have health insurance. I worked part time and my job did not offer health insurance. I could not qualify for subsidies through the Marketplace because I didn’t make enough money. I was able to enroll in a health coverage program through Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County. Through a partnership with our United Way, the program helps people with low income access health care. When I came into the Emergency Room they were aware that I would need continual care and could not afford it. They operate on a sliding scale. I was able to see my Primary doctor for other health issues, but he was clear that he could not prescribe medication for Crones. I even called local clinics and specialists to see if I could get a doctor to see me pro bono, but I could not get any help.
There are over 600,000 Floridians without any access to care and thousands more struggling with some part of the health care system. Unfortunately, most of us suffer in silence.
Right now, it’s more important than ever to come forward and share your health care story.
By telling us your story, you help speak for people who may be facing issues just like yours. You have the opportunity to help change the future for hardworking Floridians.