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It Can Happen to Anyone...Even a Physician

People are often surprised to hear that even a physician can end up on Medicaid...but I’m a great example that it can happen to anyone. I’m 32 years old, married, with two small children and I am a family physician. In January of this year, right at the beginning of a new plan year and new deductible to meet, I had two cerebellar strokes resulting from a spontaneous vertebral artery dissection. This is one of those freak things that has no risk factors and is no one’s fault, no one can predict and it can’t be prevented.

Though I am cognitively fine, I am no longer able to physically handle the demands of my previous practice. When I resigned from that position, we were unable to pay the premiums on our insurance so had to drop our coverage…we were struggling to even buy food. Recovering from a stroke is not a good time to drop insurance or go hungry!

Thankfully, we were able to apply for Medicaid and SNAP. Our family has stayed healthy, our kids have had the medical care they needed, and I am gradually recovering and able to work more. We are hoping our situation will improve enough that we won’t be Medicaid-eligible in a year. But in the meantime, it has been a crucial part of our ability to get back on our feet and out of poverty.