Barbara Henry's Story, a Single Mom of 17-year-old Justin

Last updated: May 23, 2024

I was just recently approved for Medicaid coverage this year after my ex-husband lost his employer sponsored coverage.  I’m blind and so receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).  That means I have Medicare Part A. The commercial plan from my ex’s employer had provided my Part B coverage. 

“Medicaid matters because it provides comprehensive coverage that helps me stay healthy and well to care for my son.”

Barbara Henry

It wasn’t an easy process at first when I lost the commercial coverage. In fact, I walked around for 4 months with no supplemental coverage, which left me pretty vulnerable. During that time, I developed an unusual bump on my body. It was making me nervous and so I paid out of pocket at a walk-in clinic to have it checked.  When I found out that it was nothing serious, I just broke down. It was the first time that I’d cried in years.  I was so relieved. That’s when I realized how anxious I had been about lacking full coverage.  My son Justin, who is diagnosed with autism, depends on me.  My health is important to his well being.  I’m very independent, and work hard to take care of myself. Besides my blindness, I’m healthy and work hard to stay that way.  Making sure I have the health insurance coverage I need is part of my responsibility to my son, and, for me, Medicaid makes that possible. 

During those anxious months, I struggled with the Medicare office over what to do. Finally, I found out that Medicaid could help.  Right on the front page of the Medicaid application is a check box with the letters E.A.D. – that stands for Elderly and Disabled. Blindness is a qualifying factor, which meant, for me, there was no wait; I got covered immediately.  I wish I had known earlier!

Everything is fine now and, whenever I go to the doctor, I can’t get over how good the Medicaid coverage is.  I have to say that having that Medicaid card in my pocket has helped me in other ways too. Recently I had to file a complaint in Family Court related to my ex. At Court, I found out there would be fees, which I couldn’t afford.  I just didn’t have the money.  The Clerk asked me if I could prove my low-income status, she asked if I had a Medicaid card. That simple question helped prove my status. I feel like that day justice was served. Everything worked out.

I have to be honest. Sometimes, because of my disability, people seem to judge me. They talk to me in a childish manner and even sometimes, when I’m with my son they’ll talk to him before they’ll talk to me! They’ll say, “Take care of your mother!” They don’t realize at first that he’s autistic, and that he’s the one that relies on me.  Medicaid matters because it provides comprehensive coverage that helps me stay healthy and well to care for my son.