United Way works to help woman keep health care coverage



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A woman with liver disease is hoping the president's health care plan will help her get medicine she needs to survive.

She suddenly lost her Medicaid benefits.

"They just say that I don't qualify," said Kerri Felder, "because my daughter turned 18."

Felder has advanced liver disease. For five years, she's taken medication that helps keep her alive. But without warning she received a notice that says she is no longer eligible.

"No one sent me any letters, called me," said Felder.

In Florida, parents are eligible for Medicaid. But once their children turn 18 they may no longer qualify.

That would change under the president's health care plan.

But this week a Florida Senate committee rejected moving forward with expanding Medicaid under the Federal Affordable Care Act.

Felder is working to qualify for Medicaid on the basis of a disability. She said her multiple medical conditions prevent her from being able to work.

But she said she is worried that by the time she gets through the lengthy qualification process, it will be too late.

"I don't want to leave my only daughter. She hasn't even turned 19," said Felder.

WFTV's Lori Brown arranged a meeting between Felder and the United Way to see if there are any community organizations that can help.

The United Way is working with the nonprofit Brevard Health Alliance to see if it can help fill in the gap while she waits on her appeal.

"Health care is a huge issue in our country and why the president is doing all he can for the Affordable Care Act, whether you support that or not. It's because of this, a lot people don't have insurance," Elizabeth Lee from United Way of Brevard.

Florida Senate leaders said they are looking for a way to make the Affordable Care Act's coverage available through private insurers.