Kansas Stories: Beth
Beth is from Lindsborg, KS. She is a mom of three and has a disability. Beth has struggled to access health insurance for many years, and it’s been difficult to hear she doesn’t qualify for state insurance programs like KanCare. Though insured now, easier access to health insurance would have made a huge difference for Beth.
Beth was unemployed for nearly a year, but was receiving child support during this time. Later, she took a job as a baker, but was only able to work 15-20 hours a week. She wasn’t able to afford insurance at this time and she still didn’t qualify for KanCare, as she made too much money.
During this period without insurance, Beth worried about what would happen if she were to become seriously ill. She didn’t know how she would be able to deal with it without insurance. Beth tried to apply for KanCare many times, but she was told her child support was pushing her just over the income guidelines for qualification.
Beth now works at an elementary school where she met her husband. She’s currently working through a medical coding program that she hopes will provide a new job and career path for her.
But because she was uninsured for so long, Beth is overdue for preventive screenings and hasn’t seen a dentist in years. During her time being uninsured, she hoped for a day when she wouldn’t have to worry about going to the hospital or seeing doctors.
Though insured now, Beth’s fears aren’t completely relieved. She worries if she will be able to keep her insurance. She earns an income just above the Federal Poverty Level, and she has to make tough financial choices for her family. She is scared she will have to get rid of her insurance so her family can focus on other financial needs, like housing and food.
Many low-wage working Kansans–like Beth–are facing difficult choices when it comes to accessing health care. Insurance is often just too expensive but going without coverage is a big risk. Expanding KanCare provides an affordable option for people like Beth who are working hard to provide for their families and make a better life.
Do you or someone you know have a health insurance story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.