FORCED TO DIVORCE: AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES MUST CHOOSE MARRIAGE OR HEALTH CARE

From The Thread: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd-This is an amazingly complete discussion of a problem that has punished people with disabilities for decades…

Married for nearly three years, they were still in love and wanted to stay together. But to remain married would risk losing the health care Susan desperately needed. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 4, she has lived with chronic pain for as long as she can remember. Susan struggles to get around without a cane or power chair during flare-ups. She didn’t have private insurance at the time of her diagnosis, so Medicaid was critical for her to get the care she needed to manage her disability.

Her husband worked as a roofer and earned $12 an hour. His seasonal income fluctuations left Susan hovering near the Medicaid eligibility cap, which came out to around $20,600 annually at the time, in 2007. She already had briefly lost coverage during their marriage because her eligibility was based on household income. The cancer diagnosis was the tipping point. Susan’s husband had recently switched companies and earned a pay increase to $14 an hour. Warmer spring months would bring additional construction work. But more income wasn’t necessarily good news. Instead, it surfaced the nagging anxiety that Susan could lose Medicaid eligibility again, just when her medical bills were about to skyrocket.

Divorce, they decided, would eliminate the month-to-month possibility of losing coverage — and the fear that came with it.

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