Joanna, 24, from Arizona, has lived with epilepsy since she was seven years old. In the early years of her diagnosis, Joanna was denied Medicaid coverage because of her family’s income, and the family struggled to afford her medications. When Joanna was twelve, she was finally able to enroll in Medicaid, which relieved her family’s financial strain. Even with greater access to care through Medicaid, Joanna was still not able to obtain seizure control. By age fifteen, she was experiencing 15-20 seizures a day, and she had to leave high school and begin homeschooling.
At nineteen, Joanna had brain surgery to help with her seizures, and she has now achieved seizure control. Due to epilepsy stigma, Joanna has struggled to find work. Medicaid covers the cost of her four medications, as well as quarterly visits to the neurologist. With the help that Medicaid provides, Joanna is healthy enough to attend college, and she will soon complete all the prerequisites to begin her nursing degree.