By: Heather B., Polk County
I’ve always had insurance through my job. In 2015 I lost my job and a week later my husband lost his job at the same company. We ended up losing our house and had to move to California. California expanded Medicaid so we ended up qualifying for Medicaid while we were there. We then moved back to Florida and applied for Florida Medicaid. At the time my daughter was young, so we were all approved for Medicaid. As soon as she turned 18, we were all canceled. My husband is currently working and has insurance through his job. Tough part is, we can only afford insurance for him. If he adds me to his insurance the price is three times as much.
I’m a 50-year-old woman with multiple medical conditions. I am a diabetic, have high blood pressure, and a history of cancer. I’m pretty sure I have a heart condition but can’t see doctor to confirm that. Both of my parents had congestive heart failure around the age I am now. I have all of the symptoms they had. It’s hard for me to breath. My feet and ankles get swollen. My chest hurts. Yet, I can’t get any help. One doctor did an EKG and wanted me to see a cardiologist. I would now have to pay out of pocket, and I can’t afford that.
I buy my diabetes medication from Walmart for $25 a vial which is about half the price of anywhere else. I get the discounted price through Good Rx. I found out about them while I was in the hospital last year. I’m not taking as much as I should because it has to last me a while. I’m just taking it whenever I can afford it. When I’m taking as much as I’m supposed to, I need 6 vials a month. I have an old prescription for my high blood pressure medications. But I don’t take the medications every day because I don’t have enough and can’t afford more. If my husband works overtime, we can afford more medicine for me. It’s sad that he’s working for my medication.
When I had Medicaid, I had dental coverage as well. I went to the dentist one time, and it covered exams and extractions. It didn’t cover fillings or cleanings. They told me I had a cavity and wanted to pull my tooth. That’s crazy! I’ve not had any dental treatment since lost Medicaid.
In December of last year, I herniated a disk in my back and had to go to the hospital. I still owe the hospital a little over $1,000. We recently had to move in with my sister and her family. We’re splitting the rent. We’re just barely scraping by. I’ve applied for Medicaid. They denied me and told me that I had to be on social security disability in order to get Medicaid. I’ve applied for disability and was denied. I’ve appealed it and now I’m waiting on a hearing. My disability case worker says I would be more likely to be approved if I went to the doctor more frequently. I can’t afford to go. I’m just so frustrated anymore. In Florida if you have no income and no job, you just can’t see a doctor.