Uncovered Pt. 3

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

Marlene Baker says: "She's a wonderful child. She's beautiful. She's literally my best friend."

Baker's 13-year-old daughter, Krystal, is her pride and joy. That's why it causes her so much pain that Krystal suffers from epilepsy and diabetes.

Baker says: "We can't get health insurance for our daughter. Everybody says "We'll cover you, but your daughter because she has diabetes, we can't cover her."

Baker's family falls between the cracks in the system. Her husband's job pays too much for them to qualify for K-Chip (the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Plan) and they don't make enough to pay for a plan. And having a child with expensive health care needs can take its toll.

Teresia Huddleston is a diabetes educator with the Barren River District Health Department, she says: "The typical cost of a person with diabetes is around $13,000 a year versus around $2500 a year for a person without diabetes."

Baker says: "We've been behind on our house payment so many times."

Baker and her husband don't have insurance either and over the last year they have racked up $13,000 in hospital bills.

Baker says: "All our money has got to go towards our bills, her medicine, and food."

Huddleston says: "It puts you in the position do I eat, do I pay my bills, or do I take my medicine?"

Baker and her family live with the constant threat that she, her husband, or Krystal will have to go to the hospital.

Baker says: "It scares me. Because the hospital can go after you to pay the bills but if you ain't got the money to pay it what can you do? And you can't find health insurance what can you do?"

She says her biggest dream is to find affordable insurance for her whole family.

Baker says: "You literally have to live one day to the other and pray to God that nothing happens."

The non-profit organization health Kentucky helped some of the working poor last year by providing $14 million worth of drugs and three million dollars worth of doctors’ visits. If you'd like more information on Health Kentucky go to www.healthkentucky.org or call 1-800-633-8100.


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