My 40-year-old son lives is full-time caregiver for his totally disabled 13-year-old son. The child is covered by social security, but my son has no insurance and a number of physical issues, some specifically caused by the moving and transporting of his son. Last year, his income was around $12,000. He is on no government programs and manages to make do within that budget. He was very encouraged at the idea of being able to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act until he applied and found out that he made too little income to qualify. It was designed so that those under the poverty line could be covered by the state’s federally financed expanded Medicaid program, which the Republican House is blocking. Thus he continues to have no insurance coverage.
My grandson is 25 and somewhat mentally challenged. He makes less than $6,000 per year working at a restaurant washing dishes. He doesn’t qualify for Virginia’s current Medicaid program, and doesn’t have health coverage. Like most of us, he occasionally has health problems that are mostly dental ones. His teeth are rapidly deteriorating, and he needs Medicaid now.
I was able to finally marry my same-sex partner of 11 years this past year. The marriage is recognized federally, but not in Virginia. My wife works part time as a teacher, cares for her elderly mother, and takes care of our household. Because our marriage is not recognized in Virginia and because my work requires spouses to be recognized by the state to extend health benefits, she is not eligible to be covered by my insurance. Her income is about $4000 a year–not enough to qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. She’s not eligible for Medicaid in Virginia currently because she’s not disabled or elderly. With Medicaid expansion, she’d qualify.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act, she was not able to get any insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Within the past two years, she has had to be hospitalized twice. One stay resulted in $47,000 in medical bills, the second stay was about $8,000. These charges were written off to charity by the healthcare company, but the charges incurred by the providers were charged to my wife. We couldn’t afford to pay these bills, and they are currently in collection where we try to pay what we can. Because Virginia refused to expand Medicaid, she still has no way to be covered with health insurance. It places an unnecessary burden on our family.