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Meghan H. Kansas City, MO
Meghan H. Kansas City, Missouri
Meghan H. watched as her little brother bounced from one Missouri walk-in clinic to another, seeking treatment for allergies that seemed to be worsening, causing recurring sinus infections and headaches.
Within a few months, Meghan was at a hospital with her family being told that her brother might not survive the brain surgery he urgently needed. The problem: a routine sinus infection had gone unchecked, spread to his brain and now threatened his life.
Meghan believes that it need not have happened that way. “Had my brother had the opportunity to have health care coverage that was affordable, had he had a doctor that he could go to, I truly believe his infection would not have gone that far. He would still be the active, healthy, able-to-do-whatever-he-wanted 21-year-old he should be.”
But now, because of the toll of the infection, he suffers short-term memory loss, lingering seizures, and is 70% blind. He is, she adds, “ very restricted in what he can do in a job, his career and his ability to live a normal life.”
The young man, who had run track in college and was working in landscaping to earn money is now considered disabled, putting him on the rolls of Americans covered by disability insurance.
Meghan sees how dependent care coverage could have made a massive difference. “Cases like my brother’s exhibit one of the primary problems with our healthcare system,” she says. “Lack of access to affordable health insurance and primary care doctors often results in diseases progressing unnecessarily, resulting in a huge cost to both the patient and taxpayers in the end.”
Currently, Meghan is living without health insurance. She’s looking for a job that will cover her. She keenly understands just how important it is to have coverage.
This story brought to you by Campus Progress and the Getting Covered campaign.
With a son about to graduate college, Paul R., the aquatics director at Dickinson College, a liberal arts college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was following healthcare reform closely, particularly the Dependent Coverage provision. He even had a New York Times alert set up to let him know when the bill was signed into law.
Nia, a med student at Howard University, thinks health care is a right not a privilege and therefore, was already very happy that reform was signed into law. “I was actually really excited for other people because I didn’t think it was going to apply to me,” she says. She’s since learned that because of the Dependent Coverage provision that she will be able to return to her mother’s quality coverage, “Now I’m even more excited,” she adds.
Dr. Kathryn Ellerbeck, a pediatrician at the University of Kansas, heralds the dependent care coverage provision for two very important reasons: her daughters Alexandra and Ali. In the case of her youngest daughter, Ali, who was born 19 years ago with a congenital heart defect, it is a tremendous relief for Kathryn to know that she can extend coverage for her daughter whose condition requires regular maintenance and occasional major surgeries.
Meghan H. watched as her little brother bounced from one Missouri walk-in clinic to another, seeking treatment for allergies that seemed to be worsening, causing recurring sinus infections and headaches. The problems only grew worse, ultimately threatening his life. Yet, Megan knows it would have been different if he could have gotten insurance.
Keesha expected some discomfort when she visited the dentist, but once her cleaning and exam were over, she got even more than she bargained for. Unbeknownst to her, and her father, she had been dropped from his insurance coverage. It wasn’t the first time that the 25-year-old American University political science grad student had been dropped from coverage.
Catherine M. received her B.A from Drexel University in 2009, majoring in International Area Studies, with a focus on justice and human rights. This fall, she expects to take that degree and apply for a job making espresso-based drinks at a coffee-shop chain. Like many young people, the need for a job with health insurance limits her employment options.