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I noticed Florida is lacking when it comes to assisting people.

Tad N. resides in Alachua County. He recently moved from Pennsylvania to Florida hoping to find employment in the entertainment industry. Shortly after moving to Florida, he sustained a serious back injury, lost two job opportunities and was unemployed and unsured. He had been covered by Medicaid In Pennsylvania In PA where he was able to access the services he needed for depression, anxiety and PTSD. He started rationing his medications, skipping days and reducing the amounts. Tad stated “there was like a lot of resources in PA, when it came to medicine and getting like extra help out there, I noticed that Florida is lacking when it comes to assisting people.” He simply wanted to get the care that he needed to get back to work and not have to worry about his mounting medical debt.

Tad found out about the Equal Access Clinic through help from his family and said, “I was seeking services mainly for the back issues and with getting refills for the medications I’d been on, so luckily, because of the wonderful people at the UF Equal Access Clinic, I’ve been able to get some free health care.” Tad further commented, “if Florida was to expand the Medicaid program, that would definitely help me get back on track to being a productive member of society.”

Like nearly 500,000 other Floridians, Tad falls into the Coverage Gap because he is a single man, he does not qualify for Medicaid and because he is currently unable to work, cannot afford health insurance. For 10 years, Florida’s state legislators have had the opportunity to expand Medicaid to cover Floridians earning below the poverty level while saving the state $200 Million a year. Florida is 1 of only 10 states that has not expanded Medicaid and it’s time to give Floridians the security of health coverage. Navigators across the state of Florida are available to assist individuals like Tad to help find affordable coverage enabling them to receive the care and medications they need to return to and lead healthier lives. Get connected to a Florida ACA Navigator at

“Because of the wonderful people at UF Equal Access Clinic, I've been able to get some free health care. If Florida was to expand the Medicaid program, that would definitely help me to get on track to being a productive member of society." - Tad N., Alachua

Read more of Tad's story below or share your own story here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am 27 years old and recently moved here to Florida, about a year and half ago. I was really excited to come and had a lot of different work opportunities. I'm somebody who works a lot in the entertainment industry. So, moving to Florida was a big opportunity because of all the entertainment things that happen down here.

Previously, I was working for an interactive art museum that was in the previous state that I was living in [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. It was a wonderful job and I wanted to take those sorts of opportunities down here with me. I ended up having a really bad back injury when I first moved down here and it actually prevented me from working. I lost two different jobs while I was here because of the back injury that kind of ended up resulting in me being bed ridden for quite some time. It was pretty devastating for me to go from working in installing all these big artworks and doing all these crazy things to not being able to have any sort of job. It was also a really big deal for me since I had just recently moved down here and I didn't really have a spot that I could go to for anybody, at least not that I had knowledge of, to help me out with like Medicare.

Have you experienced health care affordability issues in the past? Have you ever been uninsured for any long period of time before?

What choices have you had to make in your life as a result of not having insurance?

Have you tried applying for Medicaid or for insurance through the Marketplace since arriving to Florida?

How did you find out about the Equal Access clinic? Have you been able to get the services and the medications that you need?

How would your life change if Florida were to expand the Medicaid program and you were to qualify for it?

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