I’m Losing My Health Insurance Because Medicaid Expansion Was Delayed

FILE - North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger, left, speaks alongside House Speaker Tim Moore at a news conference about a Medicaid expansion agreement on March 2, 2023, at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum, File)

By Yeisel Dominguez

September 22, 2023

Yeisel Dominguez will lose her healthcare coverage in less than 10 days, due to North Carolina Republicans’ delay in expanding Medicaid. In an op-ed, she shares her fears and concerns about going without coverage.

Many of us in North Carolina are dreading October 1st, because we know we will be losing Medicaid.

I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and knowing that I’ll be losing health coverage has my anxiety through the roof. Just two weeks ago, I was crying in the doctor’s office telling my doctor I didn’t know how I’d pay for the new medication and the psychiatrist she referred me to.

Knowing I’d be part of the Medicaid expansion program gave me one less thing to worry about. But with the expansion being delayed due to the inability of Republicans in Raleigh to agree on a state budget until this week, I will fall into the coverage gap on Oct. 1. Had a budget been approved in the summer, I would automatically be enrolled in the expansion on that day, without losing coverage.

Instead, I fear what October will bring.

We all know how expensive doctor visits are, not to mention how expensive health insurance is, especially if you struggle with health conditions.

My husband and I were quoted for health insurance just last week and it came to a total of over $1,000 every month. We don’t have that kind of money to spare.

“But we won’t even go to the doctor every month,” my husband said. “In that case, a doctor visit is cheaper than health insurance.”

He’s right.

I know there are pros and cons to expanding Medicaid, but what about when it comes to someone like me? If I don’t have the right treatment for my severe anxiety and bipolar disorder, I’m being stopped from being a good wife and mom. I want to be the best for my family. I don’t want my husband having to worry about how he’s going to pay for my medication.

I’m sure there are many people who struggle with more severe things than I do, and if I’m worrying about my condition, I can’t imagine what others with heart or neurological problems are going through.

My brother suffers from terrible anxiety and before he was accepted for Medicaid, he vaped to calm his nerves down. He didn’t realize that he was making his anxiety worse and adding to his asthma problems.

But there was absolutely no way a college student could afford multiple doctor visits or prescribed medication. He is in the same boat as many of us who will suffer from losing Medicaid, because the expansion has not yet gone into effect.

We are in this together. We are a country that loves helping people. We need to help those of us who are in need. We need to stand in this matter together so we can be heard and the expansion can continue.


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