Texas Parents Consider Divorce to Afford Child's Health Care

Maria and Jake Grey are considering a divorce to qualify for Medicaid health care for daughter

Parents of disabled daughter consider divorce to qualify for Medicaid, report says

A Texas couple who say they've been happily married for nine years may get a divorce in order to pay for their daughter's rising health-care costs.

Texas couple Maria and Jake Grey told WFAA that their six-year-old daughter Brighton requires around-the-clock care because she suffers from a rare chromosomal disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which causes hearing and vision impairments, seizures, and heart and kidney problems. Grey makes roughly $40,000 annually, and the family doesn't qualify for Medicaid and is far down on waiting lists for other state assistants. "You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24/7, all the time", Maria Grey said.

The couple said paying for Brighton's treatment with a single salary of $54,000 is hard and are now considering divorcing so Ms Grey would become a single mother-of-two. They have two young daughters, a two-year-old named Fairen and six-year-old named Brighton. It has left the family financially fragile, and they're considering an extreme decision about their marriage to help with all the medical bills.

Because of that the Greys are considering a divorce, so that Maria Grey becomes, at least under the law, a single, unemployed mother of two little children - and, thus, eligible for Medicaid. The Greys applied for state assistance but don't expect to get it because of where they fall on the list.

"We just have struggled and struggled with it". 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.

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"It's just shocking, and I really think it speaks to our need to really rethink what we do and how especially for the most vulnerable", Dr. Miller said.

"For a family like this, they really are in a tough spot", said Dr. Thad Miller, a health care policy expert at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

"We promised to each other and to her that we'd do whatever we could do to make her life, however long she's going to be with us, as good as possible", Maria explained. "We don't want a GoFundMe, we don't want any of that", Maria Grey said. The couple said they have made their apathy public to raise awareness about the situation.

Yet, they may not be the only ones whose best bet is divorce.

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