Alainna, 36, from Wisconsin, was diagnosed with epilepsy and a kidney disorder in early childhood. Since 2004, she has used a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) for seizure control, and had brain surgery in 2009 to remove her right frontal lobe. With the help of her VNS, surgery, a modified diet, and medications, Alainna has been seizure-free for seven months.
With her high medical costs, Alainna relies on Medicaid to afford the medical bills from her chronic conditions. She says “Medicaid makes all the [health] services affordable. If Medicaid were taken away from us, we wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of ambulances, hospital stays, and pay for the people who take care of us.”
Alainna knows well what her life could be like without Medicaid. A friend of hers from an online support group passed away while appealing a coverage denial from Medicaid. “She was in the midst of appealing, and she died without her [epilepsy] medication. To me, that just isn’t right.” she says.
In November 2016, Alainna was hospitalized for five days for EEG tests. Without Medicaid, her medical bills would have reached over $14,000. Medicaid ensures that Alainna can see the specialists and access the medications she needs at a cost she can afford.