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Medicaid provides a critical service for Utah’s families

In 2008 Cara Dahlquist, a preschool teacher in Pleasant Grove, and her husband Will were expecting their first baby, a boy named Lincoln.  What they were not expecting, but discovered hours after his birth, were a number of medical conditions that required open heart surgery in his first few weeks of life. 

At the time, the couple was working while Will attended school.  They had insurance, but it did not come close to covering their bills.  After $120,000 worth of services their insurance stopped providing any coverage.  At this point, they were relieved to find out Lincoln qualified for Medicaid as a secondary plan.  They are very grateful that Lincoln’s six week hospital stay was covered through Medicaid — the bills added up to nearly $2 million dollars. 

Later, when they no longer had Medicaid, Cara discovered that private insurance companies would not accept Lincoln due to his medical condition. Thankfully, they were able to turn to CHIP for Lincoln's coverage.  Since those first frightening weeks, Lincoln required a few smaller procedures that the couple would not have been able to afford without the aid of CHIP.  Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act banning discrimination for children with pre-existing conditions, he is again privately insured and is a strong, healthy, active one-year-old. 

Medicaid provided Lincoln with affordable, necessary care that would have otherwise been out of reach.