Texas Couple Want to Divorce to Save the Family
SANGER, TX — July 13,2018
A Texas Army veteran and his wife are considering getting a divorce in order to qualify for Medicaid and alleviate some of the costs of their daughter's healthcare.
Maria and Jake Grey of Sanger have two little girls: Fairen, who’s two, and Brighton, who’s six—but developmentally is still a baby. Brighton has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder that’s left her needing full-time care. She has hearing and vision impairment, seizures, heart and kidney problems and more.
The syndrome’s effects on their daughter have also left them financially fragile.
The family says they spend up to $15,000 each year out of pocket for Brighton’s care.
Jake is an Army veteran who makes $40,000 a year and even with health insurance, up to $15,000 of his income goes toward his daughter's healthcare costs. That’s more than 30 percent of their annual income. The family doesn’t qualify for Medicaid. And while there is state assistance available, there are tens of thousands of people on the waiting lists. Some have been waiting up to 14 years. On one list, Brighton is number 59,979, the family says.
A divorce for them could be a solution. If the couple divorce, Maria would be listed as a single and unemployed mother and may quality for Medicaid.
Formally, from the viewpoint of the law, a sham divorce can qualify as fraud. However, from a human point of view, Maria and Jake have more than enough reasons to pursue this course of action.