BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) - An Arkansas woman's fight against breast cancer gets tougher after she learns the program funding her treatments will stop at the end of the year.
The state is getting rid of certain Medicaid programs because the Affordable Care Act offers more comprehensive coverage, but participants are finding changing coverage is easier said than done.
"It's hard because I know I've got to do this fight, but if I don't have the medical coverage to do the fight...how do you do the fight," said Gina Gilmore of Bauxite.
Holding back the tears Gilmore tries to figure out how she'll pay for chemo treatments in the coming months.
"My husband died in 2006, the same year I was diagnosed. My kids...I'm the only parent they have," said Gilmore.
This is the third bout of breast cancer for the Bauxite mother of two. State officials said those on the Medicaid plans will get better health care through the state's private option Medicaid or the Federal Health Care Exchange.
"People can get preventative checkups and prescription drugs and behavioral health services - a number of services they couldn't get through those limited programs," said Amy Webb of the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
Webb said there are 1,400 Arkansans on the Breast and Cervical Cancer Medicaid Program, 1,100 eligible for the state's Medicaid private option and the other 300 must enroll in the federal insurance exchange without Medicaid funding. Gilmore is one of the 300 and said enrolling has been easier said than done.
"Every time they say they've done some updates I definitely go on there to see if you qualify now - but it keeps telling me no," said Gilmore.
Doctors scheduled Gilmore a round of chemotherapy for the first of the year. Confused and feeling helpless, she worries the coverage won't come in time.
"These new laws are just stressing me out and I'm not supposed to be stressed. I'm supposed to keep a positive attitude, keep everything upbeat but if you don't have any idea how to fight it - you can't keep the positive attitude you need to fight cancer," said Gilmore.
We reached out the Arkansas Insurance Department to see if we could find some solutions and they said according to Gilmore's information she should qualify for a federal subsidy. Insurance Department Officials said they will call Gilmore to assist her enrollment and clear up the confusion from the website glitches.