How Medicaid Expansion Improved the Life of Idaho Mother Raising Two Children with Disabilities on Her Own

[Editor’s Note: Anita Sackuvich, a single mother with two disabled children who has been living without health insurance, joined Close the Gap Idaho at a press conference on January 6, 2020 to share her excitement about enrolling in coverage through Idaho’s Medicaid expansion. After facing mounting medical debt from a lifesaving surgery, Anita finally has health coverage. She made the following statement after Governor Brad Little’s address:]

My name is Anita, I’m a single mother to two children with disabilities and work as a caregiver making $13 an hour in an assisted living facility. While I love my job dearly, it hasn’t provided health benefits. Last Wednesday on January 1st, that all changed when I finally got health coverage for the first time in six years through Medicaid.

Anita Sackuvich

In June of last year, I had an emergency surgery that left me with more than $19,000 in medical debt and that’s after the indigent fund helped reduce it from $50,000. I ignored the warning signs and delayed going to the doctor because I was scared of the expense and didn’t think it was anything serious. Until, I had no choice but to go to the emergency room. I almost died. Had I waited any longer, I would have. I am now faced with an incredible amount of medical debt that will take me years to pay down. But, I’m grateful to still be here today.

Now, I’m looking forward to a healthier me in 2020 and that is now possible for the first time in so long because of Medicaid. The first thing I plan to do is go to the doctor and continue my plan of care from my surgery last summer. I also am so excited to go to the dentist and get dental work done I haven’t been able to afford for years.

Living without health coverage is stressful enough, it’s a whole other story when you are fighting for your life without it. Medicaid coverage is going to be the key to being a healthier person and caregiver. So I can be here for years to come providing the very best to those I love and care for every day. Today, I am celebrating finally having health coverage not only for myself, but for the many other caregivers and parents across Idaho.