Formerly addicted and homeless, Utah woman says Medicaid saved her life

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Enrollment is lower than expected six months into the state’s modified Medicaid expansion plan.

For those who are taking advantage, it’s a lifesaver.

Brittany Roylance is one of them. Not long ago she was at rock bottom, addicted and homeless.

“In a car, on the streets. I’ve had four children and I’ve had to relinquish my rights voluntarily to give them a better life,” Roylance said.

She’s come a long way since then.

She says the turning point came at the Center for Women and Children when she met Allison Heffernan with Take Care Utah.

Heffernan informed her she qualifies for Medicaid under the new state plan and walked her through the enrollment process.

She credits that for saving her life.

“Being able to get 107 days clean and sober. So, but in doing that I also have needed to be back on all my mental health medications, and getting a primary care physician,” said Roylance.

She is one of about 37,000 Utahns who have enrolled since Medicaid expansion kicked in back in April 2019.

Just a little more than half of the projected 70,000 enrollees by the end of the year.

Advocates say confusion about the program, and a complicated enrollment process could be contributing to the lower numbers.

They are concerned about the thousands who could potentially benefit.

“Medicaid expansion will provide more benefits to our communities if we keep increasing that enrollment. Our goal is to connect people to coverage and help build a healthier Utah,” said Maria Guadarrama with Take Care Utah.

Healthier! That’s the path Roylance is on, and it gives her motivation to keep pushing forward.

“I have an open adoption with my baby who is only six months old, and my other children are with family, and yes, I have major hope in being part of their lives again,” she said.

If you or someone you know may qualify for coverage free help is available.

You can call 211 from your phone or visit Take Care Utah.

The Midtown Community Health Center is also a valuable resource.

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...