Thursday, January 19, 2012

the great Medicaid mess of 2011 (now pouring into 2012)

Right now, Natalie has no medical coverage.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

If she were, god forbid, to get sick and I'd have to take her to the doctors we have to pay for it all- 100%.
Boo hoo. I know. Because here's the thing, there are TOO many parents out there who have to deal with this everyday. And you're not waiting for a call back from your case worker to help handle your problem. You're not expecting it to be taken care of, because you are stuck with these mounting medical bills. Too many parents either have no medical coverage for their kids, or they have a "discount program" (which is still a bad joke to me), or coverage through a parent's medical insurance through employment. Which sometimes (well okay, most of the time) is a bad joke, too.
For example, for our family of 4 to have non-Medicaid health insurance, we have to pay $40 co-pays, most of the cost of dental work, and the deductible is in the thousands. That's not even scratching the surface when it comes to medications. Thankfully, Natalie isn't on any except for her daily baby aspirin, which is super affordable. I thank god for that just about everyday. Rick was on a few daily medications for his IBS, but even those aren't necessary anymore. Again, very thankful.

I also thank the big man upstairs for letting us have Family Medicaid.
We are one of the lucky families and I know this. Know that I know this. Because we could lose this coverage at any time. Well, the 3 of us could, not Natalie.
I know that out of all of Natalie's doctors appointments, heart catheterizations, heart surgeries, medications that she's had to take in the past, and checkups all easily exceed the American value of over 1 million dollars to date. I'm well aware that her state-funded insurance is actually a luxury. Her recent heart checkup was $3,000.

But here's the irony, right now Natalie is a new SSI recipient. We found out right before the Wish Trip so that was another reason to celebrate a great year's end. But right now, her medicaid, which was part of our Family Medicaid pre-SSI days, is canceled.
Makes no sense.
When you are an SSI recipient you are guaranteed Medicare or Medicaid, based on your age. It's in our handbook and it's been given the "thumbs up" anytime I bring this up with our case worker. Although, I don't need anyone's thumb up to tell me this (I apologize for my arrogance).
I also don't feel like the rest of Bents are entitled to keep receiving our state insurance. I never have. When I rarely use mine, I always find myself saying out loud how grateful I am to have it.
Although, and excuse my arrogance again, I'm not proud to have to receive it. I know that many people need it more than me and they don't receive this kind of help. I feel guilty. Very guilty, despite being considered financially at the "poverty level".
There is, as we all know, some sort of stigma to whipping out that medicaid card. It's the same kind of stigma as whipping out your EBT card. You don't feel proud. You feel grateful, but you don't feel proud. You feel like an ass sometimes. At least I can speak for myself.

So, when I found out at Natalie's December 16th heart checkup appt. that her Medicaid was cancelled my jaw dropped. But the ladies there was so sweet that they even blamed the rejection on a possible "computer glitch".
This was the day before our morning flight going out for Natalie's Wish Trip. But I still called the case worker.
Today is January 19th, now 2012 and to date, Natalie still has no coverage. Nothing has been done despite my begging numerous times. I've contacted someone about it countless times now.
The last I heard on Thursday the 12th, was that Natalie's coverage would be put into her own account (her own case) and will be in effect by this past Saturday.
So, thinking that maybe.....just...maybe, I needed to only confirm this this morning, I was told by a customer rep. that nothing was actually done and Natalie is not covered.
I am fuming. Even the customer rep. was pretty upset to have to tell me this. And in reality, there's not much she can even do. As I left in my millionth message to our case worker, we are at her mercy and I'm not liking this one bit. I also hate begging for something that I shouldn't have to beg for. Make me beg for my insurance coverage, fine. Even James'. But don't make me beg for my daughter. Out of all 4 of us, she is the only one who is as closest to the word "entitled" as possible, and I use that term very strictly. I don't think any of us are really entitled to anything. But Natalie would be as close as it would get to any sort of entitlement. If there were even such a thing. I'm really not sure what else I can do about this problem. I'm at a brick wall, and the people who are supposed to fixing this mess, know it.

UPDATE: I can't believe it. I actually kept the director's number from almost 2 years ago, and I just found it! I spoke to her a few minutes ago and she's handling it personally. She states that this mess should be fixed by the end of the work day. Let's cross our fingers. xxxx

UPDATE UPDATE OMG UPDATE: Well well... guess who has medical insurance again?? That just goes to show you.. don't give up ya'll. Do what I did- no, don't do what I did. I was TOO patient. Give people hell when they don't give you what you want. But like, as long as it's within reason. I was way too nice. Although, even when I got very rude nothing got done so really.... maybe there's another lesson here. Something I have yet to figure out. But I do know that within 3 hours of speaking to the director, Natalie's case was taken care of. Not too shabby.

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