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Sick and in Constant Search for Affordable Medical Care


By: Nicole G., Lee County

Read the full story here. 


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 400,000 Floridians in the coverage gap 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.

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Florida Voices for Health, through our story banker, will reach out to learn more about your story and do our best to connect you to helpful resources. Let us know the best times to reach you!

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How does it work?

Submit your story using the form below. After you submit your story, a member of our staff may contact you to learn more about your situation and to ensure that we understand your story in detail.

Florida Voices for Health, a member of Medicaid Matters Florida, will match participants with opportunities to share their stories publicly. Opportunities may include: requests from the media, policymakers, and advocates; use in our online efforts; and use in our policy briefs.

We will always ask your permission before we release any contact information or highlight your story, and you can always opt out of any opportunity.

By submitting your story you agree to our consent and release guidelines.

Not sure what to write?

It's not always easy to write down personal accounts of deeply personal experiences. Here are some questions to help guide you.

  • How long were you uninsured?

  • Did you delay medical care, rely on charity care/clinics or the ER?

  • Do you or they have unpaid medical bills as a result? Did you/they have to make other lifestyle changes to help cover the cost of medical care?

  • What type of coverage did you receive? (Medicaid/CHIP/ACA)

  • Did you or a family member have a chronic health condition or health needs? How are you or someone else impacted? (Does this require routine doctor’s visits, expensive medications, etc.)

  • What do you feel are the benefits of receiving health coverage?

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