I moved to Maine with all the confidence of an independent, secure woman who could care for her family. My employer in Massachusetts offered benefits that included low-cost health and dental coverage. When signing for our new home, I was notified I would lose insurance coverage at the end of the month. My husband, my child and I were suddenly uninsured.

We were accustomed to insured living and delayed our dental care for the end of the year. The Affordable Care Act was on the horizon, so moving to Maine meant that our health insurance coverage gap would only be for a few months. While the marketplace navigation was arduous, we knew with our efforts, our family would be able to continue our health care coverage.

However, dental coverage was not in any marketplace plan for us. The deductibles were enormous for dental coverage, so this wasn’t an option for our family. Everyone scrambled to the dentist. I missed work to make sure everyone’s fillings were done. We had to push back many other dental care needs.

My child’s teeth needed regular fluoride treatments that fell behind. They never got braces because we could not afford to prevent cavities. We all crossed our fingers and hoped for good teeth outcomes. My husband lost two teeth after our move to Maine, and we couldn’t afford crowns. It is a terrible burden to watch as my family suffered through pain. We made one choice, to move to Maine, and that choice affected our lives.

Sarah Gormady


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