Before coming to Philadelphia, Ayoka Dyani-Ojo lived in Florida and South Carolina where it was very hard to access affordable health insurance. As a result, she was uninsured on and off for about 10 years.
Being uninsured has been a scary thing for Ayoka. Not being able to go to the doctor made it hard to do the work she is so passionate about – providing home care to those who need it.
With her chronic back pain, basic tasks like using the bathroom or going to the store proved to be a challenge. She often had to go to work in pain because she could not afford to see a doctor.
For the last four and a half years, Ayoka has been working for Liberty Resources in Philadelphia and is a member of the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania (UHWP).*
UHWP has been working hard over the last two months to connect home care workers with options to enroll for healthcare under the new Healthy PA plan. Although this plan is not perfect, it brings us one step closer to real Medicaid Expansion in Pennsylvania.
In December, after years of being uninsured, Ayoka was able to sign up for healthcare coverage during an enrollment meeting.
A month after enrolling, Ayoka says having healthcare has removed a lot of stress. Now she does not have to worry about whether or not she or her husband can go to the doctor if they get sick. She is able to sleep a lot easier and for that she is grateful.
*The United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania is a joint affiliate of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and AFSCME.