Rai

St. Louis, 2020
Rai poses for a photograph with her young child. The child is making a silly face and uses their hands to make peace signs.

"Getting on Medicaid for pregnancy was fairly easy, but there was no coverage for me after I gave birth, which just doesn’t make sense. If I am not well, there is a good chance my child will not be well.”

When Rai became pregnant at age 19, she was on her mother’s insurance. Unfortunately, her mother did not have pregnancy coverage on her plan. Luckily, Rai had a connection with a nursing organization that helped Rai navigate the Medicaid system for herself and her child. Rai qualified for Medicaid and was impressed by the care she received throughout her pregnancy.

Rai states, “It was such a relief, I felt like I could be a happy pregnant person.” The trouble is that mothers are cut off from Medicaid shortly after giving birth. While they can apply for Medicaid as a parent, the eligibility levels are so low that many of the people who qualified for Medicaid for pregnancy do not qualify once the baby is born.

"Getting on Medicaid for pregnancy was fairly easy, but there was no coverage for me after I gave birth, which just doesn’t make sense. If I am not well, there is a good chance my child will not be well.” After giving birth, Rai endured months of postpartum depression, and received no medical care for this. Breast pumps and education on how to breastfeed were also not covered. While she is grateful for her relatively smooth experience with childbirth on Medicaid, Rai feels that this medical care should do more to support people that have just given birth.

Rai is in school and works part time. She is grateful for the coverage Medicaid offers for her child. Rai states, “I have considered dropping out of school to make more money for my daughter, but knowing that her medical needs are taken care of allows me to stay in school so I can pursue a career for myself. Of all the things I have to worry about, my daughter’s medical care is not one of them. I am grateful for that."

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