• Marie

    Nassau County, FL

     

    As a single parent with serious health issues Marie* has relied on Medicaid to cover her essential medications and therapy. That coverage has now abruptly ended. 

  • As a single parent with serious health issues, Marie has relied on Medicaid to cover her essential medications and therapy.

     

    Thanks to Medicaid she has been able to get effective treatment for depression she has struggled with since high school. Medicaid has also been a lifeline in treating her opioid addiction.

     

    As someone who has worked demanding physical jobs as a restaurant server, hotel housekeeper, and child care provider, Marie also now suffers from severe hip pain. Her doctor determined that she has an elevated rheumatoid factor (often associated with rheumatoid arthritis or other serious autoimmune disorders), but she has not yet received a definitive diagnosis. Sometimes the pain has been so bad she could not get out of bed for a week. For now she is relying on gabapentin (a non-opioid medication for pain), physical therapy and injections in order to get out of bed, take care of her two young sons and go to work.

     

    Though life has been a struggle for Marie, she maintains an upbeat and grateful outlook.

     

    Then she got a notice from the Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) dated April 18 that Medicaid would be ending on April 30, 2023 for herself and her 2 young children.

    I was floored! I could not believe it. The timing could not be worse,” Marie says. “I had finally managed to change to a new primary who would hopefully get the tests needed for my hip pain and coordinate my care.

  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, states received significant additional Medicaid funding and were required to keep everyone on Medicaid covered. That requirement ended March 30, 2023. Under Florida’s Medicaid Redetermination Plan, the first group to be terminated from Medicaid on April 30 would be limited to those who are both ineligible for Medicaid AND who have not used Medicaid services in the last 12 months. Marie and her kids should never have been in the state’s first group of recipients to be terminated from Medicaid.

     

    The reason given in the termination notice also made no sense: ”YOUR MEDICAID FOR THIS PERIOD IS ENDING.” This is not a legal reason for termination.

     

    Marie filed an appeal before April 30th. Under Medicaid law, she should have stayed on Medicaid without interruption. But on Monday, May 1, she went to her long awaited appointment with her new primary care doctor and was told she no longer had insurance.

     

    When she went to the pharmacy to pick up the medications needed to manage her pain, depression and addiction, she was told the same thing. “I need my medications,” she said, holding back tears. “I was finally getting some relief with a new medication regimen for depression; and I’m not thinking of using again, but I really need my medications.”

     

    *Marie is a pseudonym of a Florida resident who wanted to share her story without using her real name.

    **Stock Photo

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

    "Medicaid | The Lived Experience" STORIES Project.