A Texas couple is considering to end their marriage to ensure their daughter receives the health coverage she needs.
The couple is financially struggling and if they divorce, the mother could file as a single mother and unemployed, which would qualify her for Medicaid.
A Couple's Heartbreaking Decision
Jake and Maria Grey have been married for nine years and have two daughters, 6-year-old Brighton, and 2-year-old Fairen. Brighton is suffering from a genetic chromosomal disorder known as Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome and is in need of round-the-clock care.
Due to her condition, 6-year-old Brighton has vision and hearing impairments, as well as having seizures. The disorder has also delayed her growth and development.
The happily married couple are now contemplating on getting a divorce because they agreed that their children's needs come first. Jake, who is an Army vet, stated that 30 percent of his $40,000 income goes toward his daughter's health care. The couple stated that they pay $15,000 out-of-pocket expenses a year and they are still on a waiting list for state assistance, however, their number is 59,979.
"We just have struggled and struggled with it. I guess now we've gotten to the point where we feel like (divorce) is a real possibility," Jake stated.
Maria stated that she would feel anxiety checking the mail as she feared what bill would arrive that they couldn't pay. She continued that the couple promised each other to do the best they can for Brighton for as long as she is still with them, but the Greys have never imagined it would end in divorce.
Healthcare In America
Dr. Thad Miller, a health care policy expert from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, stated that he has never heard of a family taking severe steps to receive healthcare. Dr. Miller continued that the Greys' out-of-pocket expenses were shockingly high and that they are in a tough spot.
He claimed that most Americans spend at least $600 dollars on healthcare a year, but he does believe other families are in a similar situation to the Greys.
According to NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine, Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome is a rare disorder that affects various parts of the body. People who are affected by this disorder have distinctive facial features, including a high forehead, shortened distance between the nose and upper lip, and poorly formed ears.
Also, people who suffer from this disorder have delayed growth, which begins before birth and leads to infants having trouble with feeding and gaining weight.