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In 2017, Jonathan was driving a forklift at work when he had a seizure. He had health insurance through his job, so was able to immediately go to the hospital to get tests done to find out what was happening. Four days later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer and was scheduled for an immediate brain surgery.
After three months, he was still unable to return to work and lost his health insurance through his employer. The hospital offered charity care to cover the rest of Jonathan’s treatments and tests, but it didn’t cover everything and the bills still kept stacking up.
Jonathan now owes the hospital over $32,000, and he still needs to see specialist doctors and have MRIs every three months. “I don’t feel good about that,” he said. “It’s plenty stressful, and it’s hard to not think about.” Yet he doesn’t have much of a choice. He still has localized seizures regularly and has days when he is in terrible pain. His doctors have told him that he shouldn’t go back to work. But because Mississippi hasn’t expanded its Medicaid program, Jonathan doesn’t have any affordable options for health insurance.
“I can’t pretend like I’m okay,” Jonathan said. “If I had health insurance, it would really help all of this.”