My name is Daena Mireau and I’ve been on AHCCCS since 2015, after a friend encouraged me to apply. Before that I was one of thousands who are uninsured. In fact, I was uninsured for nearly 20 years even though I am a college graduate and once worked as a professional opera singer in New York city.
AHCCCS has been good to me. I had no idea that I was diabetic and now that I have medical coverage I can go to the doctor anytime when I am sick. I am currently receiving treatment for psoriasis, which at times has been so bad I couldn’t walk. I also receive much needed medications and glucose supplies.
AHCCCS has given me my functionality back. Through a sleep study under the AHCCCS program, I found out that I have sleep apnea and my breathing stops 126 times an hour. After the study, I received a CPAP machine and I am finally able to sleep through the night. This has given me my life back.
A work requirement would be a disaster, I’m lucky to find work as a part-time contractor. As a single adult without children, diagnosed with obesity, I am worried about pre-existing conditions being factored in to qualify for AHCCCS. There are so many things to consider in requiring people in my situation to work a regular job, little things like transportation. I’m lucky my brother gave me his truck, even though it has nearly 300,000 miles, it runs, and I can drive to my part-time contract job.
I think I would easily get bumped off the AHCCCS program. Which means I would have to find a high paying job, to afford to pay for health insurance on my own, and the co-payments for medications if they are covered.
The process to apply and maintain AHCCCS eligibility is already hard, a work requirement would simply push people like me off the program but isn’t that the point.