Nisha and Randy Morris and their daughter Nathasha are a regular California
family. Except when Nathasha falls asleep, she stops breathing. Because
of a very rare genetic condition, 9-year-old Nathasha relies on medical
equipment to keep her alive when she is sleeping. The family has good
health insurance, but the cost of nursing support and equipment is just
too big. That’s where Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program)
comes in, and the family is grateful for the in-home services that help
Nathasha live a more typical kid’s life at school and with her friends.
Nisha says, “We are not poor. But we are vulnerable. We are a real
family that has real needs.”
You might be surprised to learn who is covered by Medicaid. They may be
children like Nathasha, who has a rare condition that requires specialized
medical care. They are likely people you know – loved ones, neighbors
or work friends. The
Many Faces of Medicaid is a place for these families and individuals to share what Medicaid has
meant to them. Some have needed help getting care in the past and some,
like Nathasha, depend on Medicaid today.
Our organization believes that everyone should have access to the care
they need for their health and well-being. Rod Hochman, M.D., president
and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health says, “We created The Many
Faces of Medicaid to help those who are often very vulnerable tell their
stories about the importance of having coverage for their care. We’ve
been deeply moved by how many have said that Medicaid has been a safety
net, sometimes saving their lives.”
Who depends on Medicaid
Across the U.S., Medicaid covers care and services for more than 72 million
people. In the seven western states served by Providence Health &
Services, about 20 million children and adults depend on Medicaid for
their care. “As a mission-driven organization, we are proud to be
a leading provider of Medicaid hospital care in the communities and regions
we serve across Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas
and Washington,” says Dr. Hochman. “Each day our caregivers
see the faces of Medicaid in our hospitals, clinics and other locations.”
Coverage for babies and children with disabilities
The Many Faces of Medicaid reflects an amazing variety of people who have
benefited from Medicaid coverage. Medicaid can be a temporary helping
hand, filling the gap while people get on their feet after a devastating
life or health change. For others, it is a dependable part of their lives.
For example, the program supports special services for millions of children
with a disability or medical condition, like Nathasha. In fact, four out
of 10 children in this country are covered by Medicaid, along with 50
percent of all births.
Help for frail seniors, veterans and mental health concerns
Rhonda Medows, M.D., executive vice president of population health, outlines
some of the ways that Medicaid responds to profound health needs in all
the communities served by our family of organizations, including Providence
Health & Services. “Many are not aware that Medicaid is the
largest provider of mental health services in the U.S., and provides treatment
for three out of 10 people struggling with opioid addiction. Our seniors
also depend on Medicaid, including 65 percent of those in nursing homes.
Another little-known fact is that nearly one in 10 veterans have Medicaid
Working people too
More recently, Medicaid has provided affordable coverage for lower-income
working people. This closes a gap for millions who work but don’t
have employer insurance or don’t make enough money to afford private
insurance. “Medicaid is an essential safety net that supports the
vulnerable through every stage of life, and it is vital to creating healthier
communities,” says Dr. Medows.
“Each person we serve is part of our human family, and each one deserves
access to care,” says Dr. Hochman. “We are standing by those
who have Medicaid coverage and giving them a voice.” For millions,
Medicaid has made a real difference. With regular care, they are all hopeful
for the future.
Visit the Many Faces of Medicaid site to read Nathasha’s and other stories, or to share your own story
of what Medicaid means to you.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.