• Sandra

    Orlando, Florida

     

    In spite of her health challenges, Sandra moved to Florida in 2018 to take full-time care of her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and her brother, who is blind and autistic, both of whom would likely be in a nursing home, at significant expense to Florida taxpayers, if not for Sandra’s full time care.

    Sandra, a 54-year-old Orlando resident, struggles with serious health conditions. Twenty years ago, she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that causes the formation of small granulomas on the lungs and other organs. She also suffers from high blood pressure and detached retinas. Prior to 2015, she lived in New York, where she was covered by Medicaid. She was able to see the medical specialists and receive the ongoing care she needed.

     

    In spite of her health challenges, Sandra moved to Florida in 2018 to take full-time care of her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and her brother, who is blind and autistic, both of whom would likely be in a nursing home, at significant expense to Florida taxpayers, if not for Sandra’s full time care. Sandra is caught in the “coverage gap”: her income is too low to qualify for a subsidy to purchase affordable insurance on the “Marketplace”, yet she is ineligible for Medicaid, as Florida has not expanded Medicaid. She is left, therefore, with no path to affordable coverage.

     

    Sandra needs to see a pulmonologist once a year for her sarcoidosis, an ophthalmologist once a year for the detached retinas, and a cardiologist every six months. Unfortunately, it has been over a year and a half since she has seen any doctor, and she worries about her health. “Having health insurance would lift a lot of stress and depression,” she says. Were it not for her Medicaid coverage while in New York, Sandra may not have had access to the healthcare that diagnosed her sarcoidosis. Now, with no coverage, and no path to coverage, she has lost her connection to the healthcare she desperately needs.