Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Texas couple considering divorce to help pay for daughter's health care costs

Parents of disabled daughter consider divorce to qualify for Medicaid, report says Army vet and wife consider divorce to afford daughter's health care
Gustavo Carr | 13 July, 2018, 01:25

An Army veteran and his wife say they are considering a divorce in order to qualify for the healthcare coverage their disabled daughter needs.

Maria and Jake Grey, whose daughter Brighton was born with a rare chromosomal disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, said they spend up to $15,000 per year out of pocket on her care, WFAA.com reported.

The couple has tried to get Medicaid to help with spiraling medical costs but Jake earns too much - $40,000 - for the family to qualify. You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24-7 all the time.

People get divorced for plenty of reasons, but usually it's over issues that involve the couple's inability to happily stay together. "We've had a newborn for six and a half years", Ms Grey told WFAA. She has hearing and vision impairment, seizures, heart and kidney problems and more. By divorcing, Maria would become a single, jobless mother of two and would qualify for Medicaid to help with their finances immediately. And while there is state assistance available, there are tens of thousands of people on the waiting lists.

"We just have struggled and struggled with it". Dr. Thad Miller, a health care policy expert at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, suspects that many families - especially those whittling on assistance waiting lists - face a similar grim decision.

Maria said she and her husband promised each other that they would do everything possible to make their daughter's life the best it can be for "however long she is going to be" with them.

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But they fear they have no choice.

"For someone to kind of make you choose between your marriage and your child is just - it's just a really weird spot to be in", he said.

"We shouldn't have to make that sacrifice to get our child Medicaid", Grey said.

"It's drowning us to try to keep up with her medical expenses", Jake Grey said.

So the couple are considering a drastic option: divorcing one another. Perhaps the Greys could live in a country which recognizes health care as a fundamental right, and which provides access to medicine and care while allowing the two to remain married.