Gem County, Idaho
Tricia Ellinger lives in Emmett, Idaho with three of her five children, ages 8, 9, and 10. Living just outside the treasure valley, Tricia and her children enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and walking, as well as playing by the lake. After struggling for years to secure private insurance policies that met the needs of her three youngest children, all of whom have developmental disabilities, Tricia was finally able to access Medicaid and has been enrolled for the past eight years.
Tricia is retired and has a disability, which had meant income restrictions to cover her children’s needs. Prior to obtaining affordable health coverage for her children, Tricia had to purchase private, individual insurance policies that took a heavy economic toll every month. Without Medicaid, her children would be lacking important early intervention services, such as needed counseling, developmental services, speech therapies, occupational therapy, and a host of mental health services; community based rehabilitative services, family therapy, respite care, psychiatric medication management, targeted care coordination, and applied behavioral analysis therapies.
Instead of having to forego important home repairs or ask family members and friends for help, having access to affordable health coverage made it possible to have all of the necessary treatments for her young children, as well as her oldest daughter who suffers from liver disease.