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Personal Stories

‘I just thought things were the same everywhere’

Medicaid coverage was a vital lifeline for Saraland resident Jolene Dybas as she recovered from a health emergency. But after losing that coverage during the Medicaid unwinding period, she has had to go without needed health care.

Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 25, 2024
Author
Whit Sides
Personal Stories

‘No one should have to go through what I did’

When Diana Isom became pregnant with her first son, Keenan, back in 2021, it was what she’d always wanted.

“My husband and I had been trying for years. I was so happy, but immediately started thinking about timing,” Diana said.

Timing is always a big consideration for most first-time parents, but for Diana and her husband, Luke, things were a little more complicated. When Luke lost his job suddenly, he had to start training in a new technical field. This meant he lost the private health coverage they had previously.

Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
January 10, 2024
Author
Whit Sides
Personal Stories

See the Gap: How Medicaid expansion would benefit stylists – and every Alabamian

Over the last year, Alabama Arise has collected the stories of some of the nearly 10,000 personal care workers who would benefit from Medicaid expansion in our state. We spent months getting to know folks in one of our state’s most vibrant industries. And we want to be sure you see the last few stories [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
August 7, 2023
Author
Whit Sides
Personal Stories

See the Gap: ‘Medicaid expansion would end up creating more revenue for the business’

Just outside the Forecast Salon in Homewood is a gigantic mural painted along the wall. It features every color of the rainbow jumping out into the street. You’re up close with a 10-foot disco ball painted right beside a unicorn and two massive blue and purple manicured coifs. Forecast’s owner Brittany McNaughton (friends call her [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
July 27, 2023
Author
Whit Sides
Personal Stories

See the Gap: ‘I needed help but couldn’t afford it’

The smiles in Eryn Mullins’ photos jump off the screen. But she’ll be the first to tell you it wasn’t always this way. “I was on my dad’s insurance, and then suddenly, I wasn’t. I was uninsured for three years after that,” Eryn said.

Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
July 13, 2023
Author
Whit Sides
Personal Stories

Walker County Medicaid town hall 2023

Alabama Arise and Cover Alabama co-hosted a Medicaid town hall in Jasper on April 10, 2023. Speakers discussed the importance of Medicaid expansion and how our state can afford it, as well as the cruelty of the Medicaid coverage gap. To learn more and join our movement to expand Medicaid in Alabama, visit coveralabama.org.
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
April 20, 2023
Author
Alabama Arise
Personal Stories

Cover Alabama Lobby Day 2023

The Cover Alabama coalition held its first Lobby Day on March 21 on the steps of the State House in Montgomery. Faith leaders, community advocates and people living in Alabama's health coverage gap spoke about the importance of Medicaid expansion for their families and communities. Advocates then met with lawmakers to urge them to save [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 23, 2023
Author
Matt Okarmus
Personal Stories

Brewton community event on Medicaid expansion in Alabama

“Our rural hospital is the first line of care for the people in our community. If someone’s really sick, they need to be stabilized. They can be stabilized here quickly and efficiently. If our hospital closed ... people will die.” That was the blunt reality that Dr. Marsha Raulerson shared at a health care panel [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
March 17, 2023
Author
Matt Okarmus
Personal Stories

See The Gap: ‘Possibilities that we just can’t afford’

Kayla is a talented, young hairstylist who has built up a successful clientele in one of Birmingham’s hippest salons. She’s been a stylist for 12 years and said she loves the independence it gives her. She sees dozens of clients every week and takes great pride in her work.

“It’s a great industry, but it’s not taken as seriously as it needs to be,” Kayla said. “Especially relative to the number of people that come through our doors to get their hair done.

Kayla grew up in a small town in Walker County but started her career in an “Over the Mountain” suburb south of Birmingham. The salon served a wealthier clientele, but it didn’t offer many benefits to stylists. Among the benefits she didn’t have: employer-provided health insurance.

Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 1, 2023
Author
Whit Sides
Personal Stories

See the Gap: ‘A bigger problem in our industry’

Barbers and stylists in Alabama often work for themselves, and that comes with a cost. One Birmingham barber in the state's health coverage gap said he decided against getting health insurance because premiums were close to $1,000 monthly. In his own words: "Me personally? I don't go to the doctor. I think it's part of [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 16, 2023
Author
Whit Sides