Hunter and their daughter Persephone “PK” can be seen on Zoom chats, Facebook Live videos, and People’s Action presentations thanks to Hunter’s continued advocacy efforts for health care for all. As a Medicaid, public housing, and SNAP beneficiary during a few years in their adult life, Hunter understands the need and vital support the social safety net programs provide for many West Virginians and Appalachians.
Growing up and just for a bit of their adult life Hunter had private health insurance and then PEIA when they were employed by the state. Then during a transition period occupationally, Hunter was able to find a more active role in the community with a local non-profit helping with youth development programming. Working another part time job to bring in more money crossed Hunter’s mind every month because it was financially difficult for the family to live on the income of a non-profit employee salary. But as a single parent, Hunter had to prioritize the health of the family and had to weigh the benefits of having more income or losing Medicaid coverage and support.
“If I didn’t have Medicaid I would carry that weight on my shoulders every day, making me more stressed out, more likely to get sick, and I couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars a month for health care coverage. I’m really grateful that Medicaid has helped me through this time in my life and my daughter’s life.”
Without Medicaid, Hunter like many other West Virginians, might not have sought out the health care which helped their family grow strong and healthy.