Update on Yuma man unable to work and losing AHCCCS

Update on Yuma man unable to work and losing AHCCCS

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Yuma, AZ - 52 year old Steven Stephenson like many people has been struggling with health issues and expensive medical care costs. 

"Right now we are waiting to hear about the money situation. I'm just praying for a miracle," says Stephenson. 

It's been over a year since doctors told him he needed a second heart surgery for an aneurysm after having a heart surgery in 2009.          

After Stephenson's first surgery doctors told him he could no longer work and he was living off a disability check of just more than 900$ a month.  Stephenson received a letter from ACCHS telling him he would no longer have coverage as of June 1st back in 2011. According to the AHCCCS letter he made $12 over the limit.  Since June 1st he has had to pay 400$ out of pocket per month to pay for the medications he needs to survive.    

"I'm not looking for a hand out, I've been working since I was 12. I've never been a person to stand in a corner and beg for money. I've always been working until the day the doctors told me I couldn't work," says Stephenson.  

In March Stephenson received good news that he would receive assistance from Medicare, but the cost of the surgery he needs is over $250,000 and he would have to pay 20% of that, which he can not afford.  

Stephenson has no family he can rely on for help and continues to live with his childhood friend Mark Weissman and his wife who help take care of him.  

"I would lose my house to help Steve, I would do anything to help Steve but how do you figure it out. If I lose my house then Steven doesn't have a place to stay and I wouldn't have a place to stay then where would we be at? At square one or even worse," says Weissman. 

Weissman and other friends of Stephenson's have put on fundraiser to help raise money to help pay for the high medical costs. Stephenson says he really appreciates the help, but hopes to send a message out to people about our government and the health care system. 

"The system needs a lot of work, it's in serious need. The government has serious problems and they need to get their acts straight," says Stephenson.  

For now Stephenson remains positive and hopeful that he will one day soon be able to get the surgery he needs so that he can live life normally again.

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