Story Bank: Max, Portland

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Max, Portland

Tell us a little about your life after high school.

A: "At first, it was fantastic. I won a bunch of awards from my high school; from the Boys and Girls Club, from my neighborhood for doing a lot of volunteer work. College was going great—A's and B's—a bunch of awards there. Last fall, I had a severe episode of depression which lasted most of the semester actually, from November on. That led to me being flunked out of SMCC and since then it's been me rebuilding my life, going to therapy, trying to get health care, and really just picking up the pieces."

Do you currently have health insurance?

A: "I lost health insurance when I was 18. The state did not tell us. I was on MaineCare. I got no letter, no phone call, no knock on the door. That was it. Then when I flunked out of school and went to go get my psychological help for my depression, they were like, 'You're not insured.' So, we found out the hard way that I didn't have health coverage."

How does lack of health insurance impact you?

A: "Really, it's just my doctor is not being able to get medicine that I could use. And then that whole like, what if something happens? I'm not covered."

Why is Medicaid important to you?

A: "Like I said, it's a ripple effect. If you have the one child who's injured, or who's chronically sick or what have you which happens, unfortunately, it then affects the siblings. It affects the parents at work, at school, in their lives. It can lead to disastrous effects which impacts everybody, even if you don't know that."