Story Bank: Bradley, Lewiston

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Bradley, Lewiston

Bradley worked for Western Maine Transportation in Auburn, fixing buses. Finding affordable child care services for his three children—now ages 9, 11, and 12—was challenging. Each paycheck seemed to only cover child care expenses. Eventually, he had to resign from his work to care for his children.

Without an income, Bradley was forced to utilize hospital emergency rooms when a health care issue arose.

"There were a couple of times I didn't have it [health insurance]," said Bradley. "You kind of hold off on going to the doctor's and go to the emergency room when it gets that bad. They can't legally turn you away by law. They can make it annoying and awkward, but can't say 'no' to you."

Bradley soon found work through Maine's ASPIRE program, a required work, education, and training program that most parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must comply with. He began receiving health care insurance through his employer, but was more worried about how he would get health care coverage for his children. Adding his children to his health care insurance plan would cost $250 per week, an amount that was simply too much for Bradley.

His worries faded once his children acquired health insurance through MaineCare.

Bradley's youngest child is living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has been attending a private school focused on providing behavioral health treatment. This would not have been possible without MaineCare.

"The teachers say he is a completely different kid from when he started," said Bradley. Because of MaineCare, his two older children have been able to receive counseling services through Spurwink, a facility that provides behavioral health and education services.

"I haven't seen a [Spurwink] bill, but I can only imagine what it would be," said Bradley. Without MaineCare, Bradley's children would not have access to the necessary health care services they require, and Bradley would be struggling to juggle work and the ability to pay for child care, medical treatment, and the necessities of life.