Washington - A safety net to help a young family through tragedy

Washington - A safety net to help a young family through tragedy


Today, Jennifer (center) and her daughters, Sidney (left) and Ali remain thankful for
the Medicaid coverage that helped them recover from a family tragedy.

Jennifer's story - Washington

At the age of 30, Jennifer was unexpectedly widowed. The future was suddenly uncertain for her and two young daughters, who were then ages 9 and 3.

Six months earlier, Jennifer and her husband Lance were looking at a very different life ahead. They decided that she would pursue her dream of completing an undergraduate degree. Excited, she left her job and restarted her education while Lance became the family’s sole breadwinner. His employment with the State of Washington provided medical and other benefits to support their well-being.

Lance, in his 30s and in seemingly good health, was completely unaware he had a blood clot. Tragically, in December 2002, the clot abruptly took his life. Amid the grief and upheaval, Jennifer’s access to medical benefits ended all too quickly. Like many families starting out, they had not yet built a financial nest egg and now Jennifer and her girls had also lost their access to health care.

Not having health insurance was risky personally, but it was an outright crisis for Jennifer to have lost access to affordable care for her children. As a mom, she just had to find a way to get the care her girls needed. Thankfully, Medicaid programs filled the gap until, as Jennifer says today, “I was able to get my feet under me again, and move forward with a job that offered health insurance.” Ultimately her road led to work in health care as a communications professional.

Reflecting on her journey and her career, Jennifer says, “I am passionate about the care we provide at Providence Health & Services for those who are poor and vulnerable because I intimately identify with them.”

Medicaid matters.

Medicaid is the largest health coverage program in the United States and is designed to support the health needs of nearly all people with low incomes.
90 percent of Americans think Medicaid is important to our health care system and the benefits reach far and wide. That is, once they understand it.
Working people with Medicaid coverage
Americans overwhelmingly support Medicaid, according to a national study by Providence St. Joseph Health. The new study provides valuable insights as lawmakers consider the future of Medicaid.