Medicaid makes it possible for Americans from all walks of life to get access to health care in times of need. Whether they are working families, children or the elderly, each of us knows someone who turned to Medicaid to care for themselves or loved ones.



“I just don’t know what we would have done without Medicaid.” John's wife tells how Medicaid helped him receive care when battling dementia.



Without Medicaid, Margot doesn’t know what she would have done. In addition to caring for her physical needs, Medicaid helped give her a renewed purpose in life … it meant she could continue her life of service.



After nearly drowning and suffering severe brain damage at age 17, Greg and his family turned to Medicaid and Medicare for his treatment.



Pearl dealt with significant hearing loss over the past few years. Her family said that she became increasingly depressed and isolated until they learned about a Medicaid benefit that would enable her to get free, new hearing aids.



After blacking out on the side of the road when walking, Randall was found to have cancer. Unable to work, he was able to get his chemotherapy and treatment covered by Medicaid.



Just months after her 24th birthday, Chauntal was hit by a semi-truck and lost her left hand in the accident. She had recently aged out of eligibility through her parents’ coverage and had few affordable options for health insurance. As bills built up, she turned to Medicaid for coverage.


PSJH - Rhonda Medows, MD

Rhonda Medows, MD, FAAFP discusses Providence St. Joseph Health's belief that health is a human right and the importance of the Medicaid program. A former Medicaid recipient, Dr. Medows shares her childhood story of how her working parents depended on the program to provide the treatment she needed.



First-time mother Nisaya did not know where to go for good care, and only speaks Spanish. She found care at the Maternal Child Care Clinic of CHRISTUS Health in Port Arthur, Texas - a clinic that Medicaid made it possible to open.



In 2009 David collapsed at home and lay there until his daughter found him. He had suffered a stroke, which landed him in the hospital for two months, affected his right side and limited his ability to walk. “I don’t think I would have survived without having Medicaid’s helping hand,” says David. “It’s a lifeline for people like me.”



For 18 years, Julie loved working as a residency coordinator in the orthopedics department of a large teaching hospital in Syracuse, New York. Julie developed nerve damage from repetitive injury due to decades of typing. She lost her job and turned to Medicaid for health coverage.


Jackie & Irene

When her mother’s chronic illnesses became worse and she couldn’t afford the growing medical bills, Jackie came to her help but it wasn't enough. "Having Medicaid coverage not only helped with our budget, but it also removed the stress and anxiety for my mom and me.”



After a lifetime of raising three boys and working as a secretary and office manager, Medicaid allows 92-year-old Marjorie to receive the care she needs while maintaining independence.


Light of Hearts Villa Residents

The Light of Hearts Villa assists residents and their families with applying for the Medicaid waiver program, which helps provide the residents quality care and less worries about their finances.


Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City

"Almost every one of our pregnant clients looking to place their child for adoption is on Medicaid/Soonercare. This is important for the prenatal care that they can access, as well as having the means to cover the hospital delivery expenses prior to their relinquishment. The impact in terms of healthy moms, babies and delivery is huge."



Micah, age 3, has autism. Complex medical problems severely affected his speech, ability to eat and walk. Thanks to comprehensive treatment at Mercy Autism Center in St. Louis, Micah is making great progress. His mom Wynette is so grateful that her son looks at people now and has found ways to communicate with the family and do things that were never before possible.


Benedictine Living Community

The Benedictine Living Community of Duluth is a senior care facility where seventy-five percent of the residents end up on medical assistance. Senior care is costly, and Medicaid allows Benedictine to provide these seniors the respectful care they need in their later years.


Perry Family Health Center

The Perry Family Health Center of Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. treats Medicaid patients ranging from single adults to families and elderly patients. Without Medicaid and the center, many important health services would no longer be available in the community.


Jacari and CHRISTUS Health

When he was four months old, Jacari's mother was told that he was not going to be able to walk or talk. He had many health issues and spent much time in hospitals. He is now a sophomore in high school, a sports trainer and honor roll student.


Tierra Gleeson, LMSW

Tierra N. Gleeson, LMSW, is a pediatric social worker at Mercy Hospital Saint Louis who understands the critical importance of the resources she can connect her clients to through the Medicaid program because as a child, her mother was better able to provide for Tierra’s needs as a Medicaid recipient.



At the age of 30, Jennifer was unexpectedly widowed with two young daughters. She had recently left work to complete an undergraduate degree and had relied on her husband's insurance, which they lost. Medicaid helped Jennifer and her kids receive affordable care until she found a job with health insurance.


Jill Radkowiec, OD

Following a family tragedy and while in optometry school, Jill Radkowiec had an unexpected pregnancy. While a joyous time for her and her husband, they needed to get on Medicaid for her to finish school and become a Medicaid provider herself.


Dr. James Bartelsmeyer

As a maternal and fetal specialist at Mercy Hospital Saint Louis, Dr. James A. Bartelsmeyer knows that healthy mothers can help ensure healthy babies and that having access to Medicaid is a crucial program for expectant mothers who might not elsewise be able to afford prenatal care.


Ryan and Rochelle

Working parents Ryan and Rochelle's salaries were not enough to cover prenatal and postpartum care. For a short time, mom and baby were insured by Medicaid, which gave them peace of mind and enough room in their small budget to meet basic needs.



Andreae was a contract worker who didn’t have full coverage health benefits … it was the only time in her life that while working that she didn’t have insurance. When she got pregnant, she couldn’t afford prenatal care. That is, until Andreae went to the OB Care Center at SSM DePaul Medical Center in St. Louis that helped her get Medicaid coverage.



Sylvia suffered a massive stroke while only in her 50s. Sylvia ran a successful health care consulting business, traveled extensively, exercised regularly and thought she had great medical insurance. Until, that is, when stroke turned her world turned upside down overnight. When the cap on her private insurance ran out for services, a social worker referred her to Medicaid and the high-quality nursing care and assisted living at Providence Mount St. Vincent in Seattle. Today, she lives happily and productively thanks to coverage she has from Medicaid.



Former engineer Harold suffered a stroke in 2012. He had recently been laid off and had no insurance and turned to Medicaid, which became his lifeline for treatment.


Mother of a premature baby

A mother tells the story of her son who was born 10 weeks early with severe complications. When her husband's salary and insurance could not cover medical bills, they turned to Medicaid. Today, her son is healthy and graduating from college as a teacher.


Don and Elizabeth

Don Paul and his older sister Elizabeth share a close bond. They are both grateful for Medicaid services that helped him battle addiction and stay clean and sober.



If nine-year-old Nathasha falls asleep without being connected to the proper medical equipment, she will die. Even though she has two working parents, without the help of their Medi-Cal coverage (California's Medicaid program), her family would not be able to afford the daily care she needs to stay alive.


Huan Zhang

Huan’s family never knew about Medicaid, until both parents lost their jobs at the same time, losing their insurance to protect themselves and their three daughters. Even though both parents were highly educated (a Ph.D. and two Masters degrees), and every family member was very active, often playing soccer or participating in marathons, they knew the security of medical insurance was important. Medicaid made it possible to restore the Zhang’s sense of security, by providing their high school and elementary school age kids with primary care, an allergist, and dental visits.



When Nancy fell 40 feet down a flight of stairs two decades ago, she was thankful for her health insurance, which helped pay for many surgeries and long recovery. Once she no longer had health insurance through her work, and she turned to Medicare and then to Medicaid to treat her chronic pain and stay healthy.



It’s been a long, painful road for Stefanie who lost her husband, James, to ALS. She was his full-time caregiver for more than three years. When he died, Stefanie was left to deal with both her grief and loss of her own health coverage.



When Tress was unemployed and looking for work, she worried about how to find a job and make ends meet. Thanks to Medicaid, she was able to receive quality care for her Type II diabetes until she was able gain full-time employment.


Heidi Sallee, MD

Pediatrician Heidi Sallee, MD shares how Medicaid makes it possible for hardworking parents to get the care they need for healthy children and how children’s hospitals rely on Medicaid to support cutting edge research and treatments that benefit everyone.



It’s hard to put a price on your eyesight, but to Robin, 67, it’s the best gift she’s ever received. Thanks to Medicaid, she was able to get cataract surgery on both eyes and was no longer at risk of losing her vision.

Medicaid Makes it Possible

Families and caregivers from across the country discuss the positive impact Medicaid has had on their lives.

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