I have long-term mental illnesses including ptsd due to a sexual assault, also asthma, frequent bronchitis, anemia and vitamin deficiency due to celiac disease. We did purchase insurance through my husband’s job for several years until we could no longer afford the large premium for the family packages. Then he got covered by his employer, and our two children and I got MaineCare which allowed me to manage my problems. Then the State decided to stop helping many low-wage working parents and I lost health care. This hit us hardest when my husband lost his insurance because the company that he worked at for 11 years went under. We paid a small premium for our children’s MaineCare until my husband lost his job.
Since losing MaineCare, I’ve gone without a lot of my prescribed medicines. I am splitting my antidepressants to make them last longer. Recently I did not fill the prescription to treat bronchitis and then ended up with pneumonia and larger medical bills. I’ve also cancelled appointments for follow-up care and for regular treatment of my other health problems. I have not been able to work since my break-down in 1995. My husband has high cholesterol and is not able to get his prescriptions filled. He has had a few sinus infections this fall but ignored them instead of going to the doctor. Keeping up with regular bills has been tough so we’ve had to use the food pantry and have faced several notices to disconnect our electricity.
My husband has been looking for work, and is doing every odd job that he can get. But in the meantime, we need help. Healthy Mainers are more apt to be healthy, reliable, and capable workers which results in more productivity. And when parents are healthy, we are able to raise healthy children, and be more involved in their schools, and in our communities. I hope legislators are ready to act to support access to health care for those of us who otherwise will suffer without.