Oregon - Nancy gets help for chronic pain thanks to Medicaid

Oregon - Nancy gets help for chronic pain thanks to Medicaid

Nancy's story - Oregon

When Nancy fell 40 feet down a flight of stairs at work nearly two decades ago, she was thankful for her health insurance. That coverage helped pay for her many surgeries and long recovery – which included plates and screws in her arms and leg, fused bones in her foot and management of her chronic pain.

nancy-oregonLater on, Nancy no longer had health insurance through her work, and she had to find another solution to keep herself healthy. Her daughter helped take care of her for several years.

Nancy enrolled in Medicare and then a few years later she enrolled in Medicaid. These government programs have been a lifesaver for Nancy, although she grew concerned about the amount of medication she was taking for her chronic pain. She wanted to reduce her pain with fewer medications, and she also wanted to get her diabetes under better control.

In 2016, Nancy joined Providence ElderPlace and today, at age 75, lives in a residential care community in Portland, Ore. Medicaid and Medicare pay for her care, which includes getting her diabetes under control, receiving acupuncture to help with pain and mobility issues, and taking steps to reduce her reliance on pain medications. With oversight from ElderPlace clinicians, she has made great strides in achieving those goals and improving her quality of life – something she couldn’t have done without support from Medicaid and Medicare.

Asked what would happen to her if she lost her insurance, Nancy looks up and says firmly, “I would be out on the streets.”

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.