Kentucky Youth Advocates seeks to share voices of children and their families who will be directly impacted by the 1115 Medicaid Waiver proposed by the Bevin Administration. As child advocates, we are concerned with many of the provisions of the waiver and how they will impact vulnerable families. Kinship caregivers often receive little support to help them provide for children they have stepped up to raise. We ask the Bevin Administration to exempt kinship caregivers from all cost-sharing and other requirements of the proposed waiver to ensure they can maintain health insurance through Medicaid. To learn more about the 1115 Medicaid Waiver proposed by the Bevin Administration, CLICK HERE.


By Sonya Begay

My name is Sonya Begay, a single grandmother raising three grandchildren ages 19, 17, and 15 from Berea, Kentucky.

I became a grandparent raising grandchildren on November 26, 2010. This is the day my son was murdered in Corinith, Kentucky by an ex-felon from this Commonwealth.

Prior to this I was working as the Workforce Analyst for the Division of Indian and Native American Programs for Department of Labor in Washington, DC. I had to leave my position there because of the death of my son, Ruben Rppele and raise his three children.

Moving back to Kentucky was a complete eye opener when it came to assisting families such as myself and my grandchildren. I’ve applied for assistance because I did not have a job. I’ve been turned down from the Food Stamp program for the kids, Section 8 Housing, Habitat for Humanity, the free lunch program for their local school, and Department of Aging and Family Assistance, which I just found out has ceased recently due to the new administration here in Kentucky.

Two of my grandchildren get Social Security Survivor benefits and at this time and I am working in a volunteer capacity in Berea, Kentucky only receiving an allowance for a living stipend.

As a grandparent raising my grandchildren, I am the voice of one of many here in Kentucky. We’re on limited resources not being approved for programs I just mentioned. Allowing any more costs to our household will only take away from our stringent household budgets. While we require healthcare, some of us have not been approved for Medicaid. After five years, I finally got approved about a year ago due to Medicaid expansion.

The way I understand this waiver is there are indemnities to assist grandparents as parents. We are caretakers of one of the most vulnerable communities or populations, our children.

Bevin Administration, please remember my story as you work on this Medicaid waiver.

To learn more about the 1115 Medicaid Waiver proposed by the Bevin Administration, CLICK HERE.