Montana - Medicaid Matters: Sue's story

A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders

The day Sue lost her job, she lost her health insurance. That was several years ago, and she was thankful for the local community health center, Partnership Health Center, where she found a new provider. She landed some new work and when Montana opened a health insurance marketplace, she bought a policy. Still, the premium cost was a struggle on her now-lower income and the high deductible was scary. She toughed it out for a year.

After Montana broadened eligibility for Medicaid to more people, Sue was eligible but reluctant to apply. She wanted to pay her way and was afraid of being treated “like a second-class citizen.” The financial pressure finally led her to enroll in Medicaid. Happily, she was able to stay at the clinic and keep her same providers. The care has been wonderful and no one treats her differently.

Back when Sue lost her job and her insurance, she quit downhill skiing for fear of getting hurt and having big medical bills. Now, she taken up cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. She stays healthy and active, saying “I want to be the best I can be for as long as I can.” She is grateful for preventive care, such as flu shots and regular mammograms, and feels “a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” An eye checkup led to new glasses, so important for her work as a photographer.

These days, Sue has a lot of respect for how Medicaid works. She didn’t understand it before, but now says “It’s an amazing program.” 

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