Santana: Prattville, AL


SantanaSantana is a mother of three and works full time as an infant and toddler teacher at an early education program. She makes about $16,000 a year, which means she does not make enough to qualify for help buying private health insurance, but she makes more than the $393/month limit for parents in a family of four to receive Medicaid in Alabama. This leaves Santana in the coverage gap, without affordable access to health insurance.

In January of 2019, Santana was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Her first fear was about how she could afford this chronic illness. “Without having medical insurance and having diabetes, it can get expensive,” she said.

For now, she has been able to control her diabetes through diet and exercise. But she spends $150/month on test strips that she uses to test her blood sugar three times a day. Some months, she runs out of strips and goes days without testing her blood sugar. She worries about what would happen if her diabetes gets worse, and how she would be able to afford the necessary medications and care that could be needed to manage her health.


Want to see more of Santana’s story? Watch On the Edge: Health Care in Alabama, a short film featuring community members and health professionals from across North Carolina sharing their challenges and triumphs as they strive to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities.

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