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Caleb Garcia, age 5, was born with impaired hearing and vision, developmental delays, and physical disabilities, all due to a virus that his mother contracted during her pregnancy. Caleb’s father, Manuel, credits his son’s unexpected progress to the care he has been receiving since birth through Medicaid. Caleb needs specialist care, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, medical equipment, and prescription medications. Particularly important to Manuel, who is a single working parent, is nursing care that Medicaid covers for Caleb at school and at home when Manuel is at his job. When Caleb lost Medicaid for a month because of a bureaucratic mistake, Manuel looked into private insurance, but could not afford the $850 monthly premium and copays on his low income. That month, Caleb received no therapy or nursing services, and Manuel filled his prescriptions a few days at a time and postponed his doctor’s appointments.
Manuel Garcia is able to take care of his son, Caleb, at home while working full-time because of the home health services that Medicaid covers for Caleb. Medicaid covers many services and supports that people young and old need to live independently in the community – home health care, including nursing services, personal care, medical equipment, rehabilitative therapy, adult day care, case management, respite for caregivers, and other services. Coverage of these services is excluded or limited by both private insurance and Medicare. In addition to home- and community-based services, Medicaid covers institutional care in nursing homes and intermediate care facilities. Medicaid is, by far, the largest source of coverage for long-term care, financing 40% of total spending on these services.
"Sometimes he'll vocalize but he'll definitely smile… he won't necessarily react right away, but you can tell that he knows he's in a comfortable, happy place." – Caleb's father, Manuel