Army vet and wife consider divorce to afford daughter's health care

Even with health insurance the Greys spend upwards of $15,000 a year out of pocket on healthcare costs for their daughter's rare chromosomal disorder

An Army veteran and his wife say they are considering a divorce in order to qualify for the healthcare coverage their disabled daughter needs.

Maria and Jake Grey's 6-year-old daughter Brighton has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome and requires full-time care. She suffers from a condition called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that makes her, developmentally, the same as a newborn child. Even with health insurance, the Greys spend upwards of $15,000 a year out of pocket on her health care.

Because Jake, an Army veteran, makes about $40,000 a year, the family doesn't qualify for Medicaid. You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24-7 all the time.

Dr. Thad Miller, a health care policy expert at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, also said he has never heard of a family going to the extent of divorce. It has left the family financially fragile, and they're considering an extreme decision about their marriage to help with all the medical bills. While state assistance is available, it is slow to trickle in, as lists often include thousands of patients, waiting for years - sometimes over a decade - to receive help.

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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. By divorcing, Maria would become a single, jobless mother of two and would qualify for Medicaid to help with their finances immediately.

'We just have struggled and struggled with it.

"We've just struggled and struggled with it, and now we've gotten to the point, where we feel it's a real possibility", Jake Grey said. "It would be to not be together to get our child what we need".

Maria said she and her husband promised each other that they would do everything possible to make their daughter's life the best it can be for "however long she is going to be" with them. The couple said they have made their apathy public to raise awareness about the situation. But they're considering a divorce, for the sake of one of their kids.

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