Paul’s Story

Paul, an Idaho four-year-old, lost Medicaid coverage because of complicated bureaucratic red tape.

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Kootenai County, Idaho

When Paul was one year old, he had a stroke that resulted in multiple medical needs. Paul was enrolled in Idaho’s Katie Beckett Medicaid, a program for children with disabilities and moderate household incomes.

Days before Paul was preparing for a needed surgery in August, Medicaid denied the procedure. Paul’s mother, Elizabeth, immediately sought help to fix what she assumed was a mistake. She was informed that Paul’s Medicaid was canceled because of incomplete paperwork even though she never saw reauthorization forms or notice of termination. Paul’s surgery was canceled. His weekly speech, occupational, and physical therapies were canceled. To maintain access to his critical services and medications, Paul’s family had to pay out of pocket at an incredible financial strain.

Sadly, Paul’s story is not unique. There are dozens of similar stories where – through no fault of the family – a child’s Medicaid is unexpectedly terminated due to added barriers to coverage and more complicated and confusing systems. Idaho Voices for Children is committed to addressing this crisis and is leading efforts to reverse Idaho’s sudden decline in children’s Medicaid coverage rates.

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