Single Mother’s Journey from Having Insurance to Living in the Coverage Gap

Jada F., Alachua County

I am a single mother and have been uninsured for a while now. I rely on free clinics, income-based dental clinics, and the Emergency Room for my health care. I had Medicaid in the past, but when I started a decent job, I was told I was making too much to continue to qualify for it. The fact is, I was not making too much. I’m a single parent and still have other bills to take care of.


At one point when I was on Medicaid’s Share of Cost program, it wasn’t very helpful. I speak from firsthand experience because I had to go to the hospital when experiencing tooth pain. Only a portion of the hospital bill ended up being covered under this insurance program. I believe I might still have unpaid medical bills as a result. I haven’t tried applying for Medicaid again because if I eventually get another job, I’d probably just end up getting told that I don’t qualify again.


I work full-time right now. I’ve had health coverage through my employers in the past, but that kind of coverage is not always free. When I’ve had insurance through my jobs, I would say that coverage happens in little pieces here and there. I’ve still had to pay out-of-pocket costs for things like prescriptions and copays. Overall, that kind of coverage hasn’t really worked well for me.


When it comes to dental care, I actually currently need to get a tooth pulled. However, when you don’t have insurance, you can expect to be charged at least between $300 and $400 to get that tooth pulled. I don’t have the money for that right now, so I’m looking for different clinics that could provide that kind of treatment. I think there’s a bus that comes around here like once a year. That kind of service is helpful, but it just isn’t convenient because it doesn’t offer its services all the time. So when you’re in a situation like the one I’m in, you’re probably going to have to pay out of pocket to get your tooth pulled.


If Medicaid expanded in Florida and I were to qualify for it, I would feel relieved. I would feel comfortable about going to the doctor when I need to go to the doctor. I would feel comfortable about going to get a prescription when I need to get a prescription. I wouldn’t need to worry about having a certain amount of money to get something done. I just wouldn’t have to worry so much, so it would be a relief.