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    Palm Beach County, FL


    AnaMaria, a chronically ill single working mother, and her 20 year old son just lost their Medicaid coverage due to Florida’s meager income-limit for adults.

  • AnaMaria, a cheerful, upbeat single mom with 4 kids, has worked since she was 15. While raising kids, working, and dealing with her serious health issues, she also managed to finish college. “It took me 22 years to get my college degree,” she shared. “But better late than never right?” She now works as a preschool teacher.


    Throughout the pandemic AnaMaria and her kids all had Medicaid. She was enormously grateful for the cutting edge care she got at a university center specializing in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Then, on April 18 she got a notice from Florida's Department of Children and Families (DCF) that Medicaid would be ending for her and her 20 year old son on April 30, 2023. Suddenly, AnaMaria cannot get the expensive injection she got every 6-8 weeks, the first medication which has been successful in managing her disease. Nor can she make appointments to continue seeing the gastroenterologist who has been treating her. “This is just like a brick wall that I’ve hit, where it’s just kinda taken the air out of my sails, ya know?” AnaMaria said in describing what it’s like to suddenly lose health care coverage as a low income parent with a serious disease.


    But in spite of struggling with Crohn’s disease, chronic anemia, and recurrent afib, she is always aware that other people have even greater challenges.

    “There are just people way worse off health-wise than I am right now at the moment and I can’t imagine how they are doing ” AnaMaria said, adding: “[t]here are people who will probably die as a result of this. There are people not getting cancer treatments, their life is hanging in the balance.”

  • The unfortunate reality is that AnaMaria, along with Floridians who are “worse off healthwise,” are suffering even more than they need to due to their serious health conditions. Their totally unnecessary suffering is because they live in Florida, one of only 10 states that has refused to expand Medicaid and provide healthcare coverage for low income adults. People like AnaMaria are suddenly without any path to affordable health care.


    AnaMaria only earns $13.12 as a teacher, and she often has to miss work, unpaid, for medical care. But in spite of earning far below the federal poverty line ($2928/month for a family of 5), her income still exceeds the meager limit for parents in Florida. In order to qualify for Medicaid in Florida as an adult in a family with minor children, the family income cannot exceed $830/month. Thus, AnaMaria and her 20 year old son (who also has health issues) were cut off of Medicaid as of April 30. And, because the family income is below the poverty level, they are in the coverage gap, i.e. overcome for Medicaid and under income for a subsidy in the ACA Marketplace. (Learn more about Florida's “coverage gap” in this video.).


    “We all work, we all contribute to the state of Florida and we are being treated like we don’t matter, like we don’t count,” AnaMaria concluded.


    *Stock Photo

  • Read STORIES Of Other Floridians

    Relying On Medicaid





    Former Foster

    Care Children

    Seniors and People With Disabilities

  • We are grateful to the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) for their support of the

    "Medicaid | The Lived Experience" STORIES Project.

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