Alaska - She cried ‘tears of joy’ for her son

Becky's story - Alaska

Very few people live 24/7 in the world of Medicaid. Becky, 35, is one of them.

As a medical social worker at an outpatient clinic, each day she helps her clients apply for Medicaid and other community health services. At home, as a mom of a young son with developmental delays and autism, Becky and her family depend on Medicaid to supplement their private insurance.

“It’s simply one of the best insurance coverages out there,” she says. “Medicaid brings so much value to people’s lives.”

sawyer-alaskaIn the clinic, Becky spends much of her time educating patients about how Medicaid can help with health care services, food assistance, premium assistance for seniors, long-term care, children’s services and more. Sometimes her patients have had private resources such as a good job, health insurance and savings accounts. But life circumstances – money that runs out to pay for long-term care, unexpected medical bills, a job layoff or a child with special needs – means they may need some extra help.

That’s where Becky comes in. She explains Medicaid, helps her patients enroll and connects them to additional community resources.

But Becky is especially grateful for Medicaid when she’s at home with Sawyer, 5, his older brother Sloan, 7, and their stay-at-home dad Kevin. Becky and her family moved from Michigan to Alaska two years ago, and Sawyer has been covered by Medicaid for less than a year.

“His therapies and services every month are very expensive. Our private insurance pays for a lot of that, but there are deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses,” she says. “We’re a one-income family because my husband needs to be home taking care of Sawyer. We would be in debt for thousands of dollars without Medicaid.”

The family’s private insurance, along with Medicaid, pays for services such as incontinency diapers for their son, communication devices and educational services. Medicaid also pays for a GPS to keep Sawyer safe, since he wanders.

“I cried tears of joy when my child got Medicaid,” says Becky. “It has brought back a lot of self-determination within my family. It makes me feel as if I’m not alone.”

Medicaid matters.

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