Story Bank: Ashley, Augusta

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Ashley, Augusta

Like most parents, Ashley and her husband have a busy schedule. Her husband drops Ashley off at work, drops off their four children at school, and heads to work himself. He picks Ashley up on his lunch break and she assumes all car duties from there. 

Their schedules don't allow for much flexibility. If a health challenge were to arise, their busy schedule could turn chaotic.

Ashley works for the Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation as an assistant cook. She has health insurance through her employer, but it is far too costly to add family members to her plan.

Her husband works 40 hours a week as an outbound sales agent. He does not have health insurance, and has been living uninsured for nearly a year-and-a-half.

Their children are enrolled in MaineCare. "The kids are at least covered," she said. "That takes a lot of that anxiety away."

Ashley's story is common in her community.

"A lot of the people I know have families and they have kids," she said. "Their kids are covered, but they're not covered."

Luckily, her husband has not had any medical challenges while uninsured. Their primary care physician has played a large role in helping uninsured community members receive the medical treatment they need by accepting cash payments.

"I think that if we didn't have our doctor, it would be a little more nerve-racking," she said.

Ashley is concerned that many families are experiencing the same inaccessibility to health coverage.

"In our state, you have that big gap of people who don't have insurance," she said. "I run into people all the time that don't have health insurance, that don't have MaineCare, or they can't afford Marketplace insurance. It would be nice to not have people who are just making it have to struggle. You either have to choose to pay for your health insurance or all your other necessities of life."