“I feel like every time we look at health care costs for me, it’s almost as much as our rent check and that’s not right.”

Jessica is from Lawrence. She married her husband about three years ago, and they have a 2-year-old daughter together. Currently, she has no health insurance.

Jessica suffers from depression and anxiety, conditions she has lived with since she was about 16. She puts off seeking medical help because she is scared that treatment will put her family in too much debt. Jessica uses a birth control that she thinks affects her depression and anxiety. But she “just deals with it” because she does not want a bill from her doctor. Jessica says her family income is so low they can barely afford to pay their household bills.

In January 2018, Jessica had a severe mental breakdown that put her in the hospital. Instead of focusing on getting better, her main concern was the hospital bill to come.
Jessica has not seen a doctor since then. The only service she can still afford is an eye doctor visit.

Jessica wishes she could enroll in her husband’s insurance plan, but paying an extra $100 each month is not affordable for her.

“I feel like every time we look at health care costs for me, it’s almost as much as our rent check and that’s not right.”

Jessica applied several times for KanCare. But because Kansas has not expanded eligibility for the program, she was denied again and again. Finally, she gave up trying to get insurance. Jessica said she felt so defeated when rejected from the plans.

“It’s hard because nobody really asks you about this stuff, and when people do ask you about this stuff it’s so embarrassing, you know, you try to avoid it.”

Jessica believes everyone should have affordable health care and be able to go to the doctor without worrying about “losing their house.” Expanding KanCare would help people like Jessica avoid these concerns and allow them to get the health care they need.

Do you or someone you know have a health insurance story to share? Email marissa@expandkancare.com.