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Speaking Out: A Devastating Accident Left Me Fighting for Recovery. Then I Was Dropped from Medicaid.

In 2014, Andrea D. was waiting at a red light when a drunk driver hit her going over 50 miles per hour. In that brief moment, her life changed forever. Andrea sustained damage to her spinal cord and a traumatic brain injury. Her neurosurgeon calls her a “living miracle” because he has never had a patient survive such a severe injury.

In 2019 Andrea was legally declared disabled and became eligible for dual enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid. She has endured years of therapy. Efforts to manage her pain led her to battle opioid addiction. She compares opioid withdrawal to “walking through fire,” but with the help of substance use treatment covered by her Medicaid and Medicare plans, she has and has now been sober for over 2 years. Able to receive the treatment and healthcare she needed, Andrea was looking forward to enjoying more independence.

Those plans changed, however, when Andrea learned that her Medicaid coverage was abruptly terminated due to Florida’s Medicaid redetermination process. She received no prior notice about the loss of coverage. After contacting Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), Andrea learned that she is now denied Medicaid coverage due to a settlement she received in compensation for her accident. Most of those funds have been spent to cover medical costs. Now without Medicaid coverage, those medical bills are piling up again. “Losing Medicaid has been detrimental because I have an exorbitant amount of medical care costs each month,” Andrea says.

Since losing coverage, Andrea has reached out to DCF, as well as legislators at the state and federal levels. She filed an appeal and was denied. She acknowledges that DCF is only doing their job, yet insists “that doesn’t make it right for a disabled individual to lose healthcare coverage.” She feels the healthcare system “treats the elderly and disabled as if they are disposable.” After all the work Andrea has done to recover from a devastating incident and rebuild her life, she now feels the state of Florida and its Medicaid redetermination is working against her. “I know so many people have been impacted by this situation. Living with a disability is incredibly difficult, especially financially. It is why it is so important for me to have a place to connect and share my experience.”

If you’ve lost Medicaid or struggled to afford health coverage and care, we invite you to join Andrea in sharing your experience. your story can be a powerful catalyst for change. We amplify these experiences to help our legislators and voters understand the health care challenges being faced by everyday Floridians. Complete the form below to share your story.


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