My daughter has Medicaid for the disabled, which she became eligible for after health care reform. When the ACA was first established, the effects of Medicaid reform were immediately apparent. The first two years of my daughters life, figuring out her rare chromosomal differences by way of genetic testing, we accrued more than $38,000 of debt from hospital stays, appointments, and tests. Because our family was just over the income threshold for Medicaid, before ACA there were no options for help available to us.
My daughter had suffered from chronic illness and global delays her entire life, but the wait lists for services to help her were long, and help often came only when there was an emergent need but not when care could have been preventative. With ACA came Medicaid reform, shortly after sparking reform for services provided through the Department of Development Disabilities. Having first applied over a year before hearing back, we could not have been more delighted when we finally received an intake appointment and my daughters services started within months after.
The new guidelines provided Medicaid and many other voucher services to any child showing delays or needs in more than 3 places, and there was no longer a 2+ year wait for intake. My daughter suddenly had access to Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and any medical equipment she needed, without my family struggling to meet our basic needs because of the costs. Having a special needs child is stressful enough without the heavy financial burden, and through ACA my child and family have both been blessed with access to invaluable resources.