Lawana and R.D. Watters' six-month-old son, Noah, is a "fun-loving and determined little kid." His parents believe his happy persona is due in large part to the attention he receives from Lawana, a stay-at-home mom who devotes her day to her only child.
When Noah was born, Lawana faced an all-too-common choice: go back to her job and make barely enough to pay for child care, or stay home and raise her child herself.
Going back to work would not have solved the problem of how to get health insurance for their son. Neither parent was getting coverage through their employers. Lawana had private insurance. R.D., a construction worker, was making due with minimal catastrophic coverage.
"I would make just enough to cover the cost of day care—but not enough to afford health insurance,"" notes Lawana. ""Someone else would be raising my child and every day would be filled with worry about how we'd pay the bills if anything were to happen to him."
Thanks to the state's Apple Health for Kids program, the Watters are able to get affordable, comprehensive coverage for Noah, a typically developing, healthy baby. Lawana is grateful for the program, since it provides the care her baby son needs, expecially in these early months when regular visits to the doctor's office are part of the routine.
In January, 2009, the Apple Health for Kids program will expand to provide more options for families like the Watters by offering health coverage with modest monthly premiums to families at somewhat higher income levels
After January, Lawana will be able to choose to go back to work without jeopardizing her child's health care. She can make her decision based on her family's needs—not based on the fear that her child would lose his health coverage.