College Student With Rare Disease Lacks Access To Health Care

Molly O’Brien IMG_7326is a 19-year-old college student. Molly suffers from Paroxysmal Nonkinesigenic Dyskinesia (PND), which is a disorder of the nervous system that causes periods of involuntary movement. PND is extremely rare (1 in 5 million people. Molly exclaims, “I could be too excited and my body starts jerking” this along with other triggers can cause the involuntary movements associated with the disease. Other triggers include but are not limited to caffeine, alcohol, and stress.

Molly does not have access to her parent’s coverage, nor does she have consistent access to Medicaid coverage. Molly at this time is uninsured and falls through the Florida Coverage Gap. She suffers daily with involuntary movements and carries around a rubber mat so she can avoid injuring herself and getting more bruises on her body. Molly does not have access to quality, affordable health care. As a full time student that is unemployed (due to her disability), Molly cannot afford private health insurance. “I need to be able to see a specialist for my disease and have a reliable health care provider I can go to at any time, right now I have no one to talk to about my disease.” Molly like many other Floridians falls through the screening guidelines for disability and Medicaid coverage in Florida as it stands today. These individuals
fall through the Florida coverage gap. They are left helpless because they are unable to work, live a fully functioning life, nor are they able to access health care to get better. By expanding access to care, Molly and so many others like her would be able to see a doctor and get the care they need.