How the pressure of finding health care insurance affects one family

Remake America


Like many young parents, Star and José fight to provide for their children. Toppling poverty and homelessness, these parents of five now struggle to overcome the challenge of finding health care coverage for their family.

Star and José moved from Nebraska to Texas after Star received a full scholarship to attend law school at the University of Texas at Austin. Ever resilient, Star completed her undergraduate degree in political science with high distinction while recovering from a massive kidney infection. She also wrapped two years of law school while coping with the pain and fatigue of an overactive adrenal gland.

Poor health affects Star's son, Joe, too, who suffers from Asperger syndrome. Without coverage, the family has not been able to afford the high cost of his treatment.

As the sole income provider, José must earn less than $375 a month for the family to qualify for the Medicaid coverage it sorely needs.

"I don't even know how that's possible," said Star. "People who work minimum wage jobs make a lot more than $375 a month. It doesn't make any sense to me. Who in their right mind would take a job that would make $375 a month?"



Star's preexisting conditions make it difficult for the family to find affordable health care coverage on its own. The stress of high academic requirements and medical payments, and the pressures of raising five children have already forced Star to drop out of school. The family meets its ends through a small family-run soap-making enterprise, but without a steady flow of income, health care coverage remains elusive.

What would you do?