News

Online petition fosters support

Audrey Winkelsas, who was denied Medicaid after turning 21, was relieved to find out that she was taken off the waitlist for a Medicaid waiver program.

“I was so excited and relieved that we were making headway,” she said.

Winkelsas’s situation became known throughout campus because of a Change.org petition, which has garnered more than 7,000 signatures to date. The petition is helping raise awareness about Winkelsas, who had lost her home healthcare services.

Representative Bryan Nelson of Florida, who originally helped Winkelsas apply for Medicaid her freshman year, contacted her, telling her to expect a call with updates on the waitlist status. On Monday, she received a call from the Alliance for Aging about her release from the waitlist.

The Alliance for Aging is a private, nonprofit agency that provides a range of healthcare services primarily to senior citizens living in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Through this organization, Winkelsas hopes to qualify for a Medicaid waiver that will reinstate the 24-hour care she once had.

To qualify for this waiver, a nursing assessment still has to be completed to determine how many hours of care Winkelsas will be provided.

“We’re not there yet, but it’s a step in the right direction,” she said.

On Tuesday, a form was sent to Winkelsas’s doctor to be completed and sent back to the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care program, which provides additional services beyond standard Medicaid. The program will  review her case, and it will then be sent to a nurse who will complete the necessary assessment.

Upon completion of all the appropriate paperwork and assessments, she will be told how many hours of care she will be provided with.

“Hopefully it won’t be too much longer, but we don’t know for sure,” Winkelsas said.

Although Winkelsas was initially resistant to create the petition and wasn’t hopeful about regaining Medicaid, she is thankful for the support she has received through Change.org.

“I never imagined my petition would receive the amount of support it has,” she said. “I think it shows the amazing spirit within the UM student body, and the care students have for their fellow Canes. I am so appreciative of the support.”

In addition to the support shown online, Winkelsas has also received the support of UM students and administration.

Student Government passed a bill on March 5 that encourages the university to provide the necessary assistance for Winkelsas to continue her education. The bill passed with 34 SG senators in favor, while none opposed or abstained, according to SG Speaker William Herrera.

“We do it because that’s why we’re elected, to look out for the students,” Herrera said. “That’s what reaching out for Audrey is about.”

March 23, 2014

Reporters

Emily Dabau


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Romello Height already had a top five publicly revealed when the Miami Hurricanes finally stepped in ...

Mark Pope knows his freshman year with the Miami Hurricanes didn’t play out the way it was supposed ...

Fredrick Eaford was quick to make it clear the Miami Hurricanes were his dream team to commit to. Af ...

Linebacker might be the most important position for the Miami Hurricanes to recruit in the Class of ...

Issiah Walker Jr. won’t be at Paradise Camp on Saturday. Instead of attending the Miami Hurricanes’ ...

Some scientists fear that the new fifth generation of wireless networks interferes with critical sat ...

A new study led by Miller School professor Dr. Claes Wahlestedt observes that key molecular programs ...

Evo Morales, first elected president of Bolivia in 2005, and could win an unprecedented fourth term ...

The University of Miami Black Alumni Society is hosting a number of Juneteenth events around the cou ...

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s Rescue a Reef program teams up with the NFL and others t ...

Jackie Lippincott, Autumn Kramer and Meredith Costello were among the 61 student-athletes named to t ...

Renate Grimstad and Kristyna Frydlova of the University of Miami women's golf team were selecte ...

The Miami women's basketball team will face Indiana at the Watsco Center in the 2019 Big Ten/AC ...

The University of Miami volleyball program is set to host the Hurricane Invitational and nine ACC ho ...

Games will be contested July 3-14 in Naples, Italy. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.