Kansas stories: Kelsey Vetter

April 2024
Kelsey Vetter

Kelsey is a grant writer from Lenexa. She has mild Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, which is a brain disorder that affects balance and coordination. She works part-time for a non-profit organization, and because she isn’t a full-time employee, she is not offered health insurance. Her income is too low to qualify for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Kelsey is not married and has no children, and because of Kansas’s strict requirements for Medicaid, she does not qualify for KanCare coverage either.

Like so many other Kansans, this leaves her in the health insurance coverage gap.

Kelsey lives at home with her father and brother and is looking for more stable work. The lack of health insurance affects her life in so many ways.

Kelsey’s mild Ataxic Cerebral Palsy could be improved greatly with proper treatment. While her condition is mild, it still interferes with her daily life. She could see an improvement in her health if she could get regular physical therapy appointments, but without health insurance, these appointments are expensive and hard to access.

She has also not had a regular check up in a very long time. Kelsey feels like she struggles to live the same type of life that a woman her age should be living.

Kelsey is extra careful when planning activities and outings. She worries that if she happened to be in an accident she would not receive the care she would need because she lacks health insurance. She often avoids girls’ nights and dinner with friends because an accident could leave her in medical debt and make her life more difficult.

Medicaid expansion could greatly improve her life. She would be able to get long overdue checkups, see a dentist, have an eye exam and start the physical therapy that would improve the symptoms she experiences. She would feel more confident about moving away from her family home and living on her own. Kelsey could enjoy the type of life she sees her friends living without fear that an accident could leave her with medical debt.