Debra lives in Iola and is currently uninsured. She gets chronic migraines and has depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic fatigue syndrome and asthma. On top of all that, Debra recently discovered she has Type 2 diabetes. Managing one chronic condition without insurance is hard enough. Debra is trying to manage seven. She is in the coverage gap and does not qualify for KanCare or federal subsidies to purchase private insurance.

Debra is married and has a son with autism. Her husband has insurance through his employer, but adding Debra to that plan would cost half of their income, which is undoable. Her son has insurance through KanCare.

Debra is looking for work, but is having trouble because of her health. She feels like job interviews go well until her potential employers find out about her migraines. Debra says she notices a change in how they look at her after that. She is a hard worker, but her ability to work is constrained by her migraines. Having access to health insurance through Medicaid expansion would allow Debra to better manage her health conditions and remain in the workforce.

Debra used to be covered by KanCare in 2011, but she moved to Utah and no longer had that insurance. When she returned home to Iola to help care for her dad, who was having back surgery, she no longer qualified for KanCare.

Debra knows how helpful KanCare was for her. That insurance allowed her to see her neurologist and paid for her prescriptions. Now Debra relies on a GoodRx card, a service that offers discounts on prescription drugs, but even that is costly.

KanCare insurance could make all the difference for Debra. It could help her to pay for her prescriptions and reduce the frequency of migraines, manage her diabetes, and treat her depression/anxiety. We need to do the right thing and expand KanCare.

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