Texas couple considering divorce to afford healthcare for daughter

13 July, 2018, 01:27 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Parents of disabled daughter consider divorce to qualify for Medicaid, report says

If they get a divorce, Maria will become a single mom of two children, allowing her to qualify for health care benefits for her and her children.

Jake and Maria Grey, from Texas in the United States, have been married for nine years, but are struggling to afford Brighton's $20,000-a-year treatment. It is a rare chromosomal disorder that requires full-time care.

Jake Grey reportedly makes about $40,000 a year, meaning his family doesn't qualify for Medicaid. "You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24/7, all the time", Maria explained.

Maria continued that the couple promised each other to do the best they can for Brighton for as long as she is still with them, but Grey's never imagined it would end in divorce. She has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which triggers hearing and vision impairments, heart and kidney problems, and seizures, among other conditions. They have two young daughters, a two-year-old named Fairen and six-year-old named Brighton. They said they spend thousands of dollars annually out of pocket, even though Jake Grey has private health insurance. While state assistance is available for the Greys, the family says Brighton is number 59,979 on a waiting list that could possibly keep her waiting for more than a decade before getting help.

"We've just struggled and struggled with it, and now we've gotten to the point, where we feel it's a real possibility", Jake said.


"We shouldn't have to make that sacrifice to get our child Medicaid", Grey said.

"For someone to make you choose between your marriage and your child is just - it's a really weird spot to be in". Dr. Thad Miller, a health care policy expert at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, suspects that many families - especially those whittling on assistance waiting lists - face a similar grim decision. He says what's happening to his family is "morally wrong", but they will do whatever they can to help Brighton, who they say is a blessing.

So the couple are considering a drastic option: divorcing one another.

"We should've been married outside that day, but it rained", said Jake Grey as he looked at his wedding photos with his wife Maria.

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