Tell Us Your Story
By Daryn Kirkpatrick - Moore, Oklahoma
Seven years ago, I found myself in a predicament. I was a 23-year-old college student who worked as a cocktail waitress in a cigar lounge. I found out I was pregnant so I had to quit my job to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure to my unborn child. At the time, I had no insurance and didn’t know what to do. A friend of mine told me about SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. I applied and was able to begin my prenatal care right away.
At first, I was ashamed that I needed help, but I quickly got over it, and it changed my life. With the help of SoonerCare, I was able to take excellent care of my body without the worry and stress over whether I could afford it. For the first time since junior high, I even had dental coverage! Looking back, I realize now that I was at a crossroad in my life.
If I hadn’t found out about SoonerCare, I am not sure that I would have gotten the quality of prenatal care that I needed because I simply couldn’t afford it.
I believe everything happens for a reason, and everyone in life has a purpose. Now I work for Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. My unit is charged with reaching out to those who qualify for SoonerCare and helping them get the coverage they need and deserve. Specifically, I get to work to improve birth outcomes in our state by helping pregnant tobacco users to quit smoking.
Learn more about SoonerCare
OHCA’s “Tell Us Your Story” campaign was inspired by one mother’s thankful call to a SoonerCare outreach employee. The agency is asking other SoonerCare members to tell the agency how SoonerCare changed their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Oklahomans can apply for SoonerCare online at www.mysoonercare.org. Learn more about SoonerCare and other health care programs on the website or call the SoonerCare Helpline at 800-987-7767.
- On average, more than 50 percent of the estimated Oklahoma populations younger than age 18 have been enrolled in SoonerCare.
- SoonerCare provides quality health care for 1 in 4 Oklahomans.
- SoonerCare provides medical, dental and vision coverage for children who qualify for the program.
- More than 570,000 Oklahoma children are currently enrolled in SoonerCare.
- A family of four can have an annual income of more than $50,000 and may still qualify for SoonerCare.