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Monday, August 10, 2009

An accurate account

My son, who has a blog at http://braceforepic.com/, posted the following regarding my fight with the gov'ment to get my Medicaid for the month of August. Be warned, he does use vulgar language! He's 21, so what can ya do??

He says:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a pretty wicked sense of humor it seems, but we’ll get back to that, it’s story time.

My mother (whose own blog can be found at http://fmslife.blogspot.com/ ) is a sufferer of many painful conditions; fibromyalgia, scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis up until she had her lumbar spine fused because of it; and is what people (read: doctors) call a “chronic pain sufferer”. It’s been 6 months since she’s been able to work and life is rather hard on both of us, I stay at home and take care of her, and she does all she can to get the help she so desperately needs while keeping us afloat on a myriad of government checks being thrown our way.

Her being jobless means a lack of health benefits for her, which in turn means that the medication she needs just to function is now rather expensive, costing roughly 2 cows, a chicken, and the rights to my own first born child… err, more like $80-120 per monthly prescription (note: it's actually $80 to $120 per prescription/per month - about $300 to $400 a month total), and seeing as we don’t have much of an income, that’s alot. So her recent endeavor has been to find some sort of government program to help her get her medication and easy inexpensive access to her primary care physician. Much to our delight, she was recently approved for medicaid.. for the month, until she goes on Social Security Income (SSI) next month. Medicaid meant that she would be able to get her quickly diminishing medicine supply replenished for nothing out of her pockets, or so we thought.

Upon being approved, she called around incessantly in order to get the information she needed; primarily her medicaid number; in a much quicker fashion than is usually expected, with only a month of medicaid available to us, we had little time to waste. With only a couple of hours spent on the phone, numerous transfered calls, and quite a bit of frustration on her part, we finally got a straight answer out of them: Head to the local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) office and your medicaid letter will be available to pick up. So I go up there myself to pick up the letter, only to be told that no, my mother does not have medicaid. Startled and a little angry having stood in line for an hour and a half for this bullshit, I call my mother and explain to her what the woman at the counter said. I go home, and my mother procedes to spend the next 2 hours on the phone calling around and looking for more supposed “straight answers” about as to where the fuck her medicaid was, because she has a prescription that is in dire need of filling, and we lack the funds to do so.

Again, an answer was received: head to the local SSA office and get an emergency medicaid certification. We went, reluctantly, and was greeted to a much faster reception, but yet again a depressing answer. They told us “Your medicaid was canceled because you’re going on SSI next month.” to which we replied “Well what the fuck about this month?” and it went on and on, until they realized the folly of their ways. Their sick twisted sense of humor comes into play when they told us “Well, it takes about 30-60 days for your medicaid information to be mailed to you.” Hold the fucking phone, what the shit did he just say?

Let’s recap:

1) We were approved for Medicaid for this month and ONLY this month, the month of August, in the year two-thousand and fucking nine.
2) We have to wait 30-60 days for our information to come in, so we can use the medicaid

Still not following?

We would have to wait until, at the latest and god forbid, the month of Oc-fucking-tober in order to get the information we need for her medicaid in order to be able to pay for the medication she needs now, in August. Perfectly logical? Fuck no. Does it not dawn on a person when we explain that we “were only approved for this month” that waiting 30-60 days for the information needed to come to us is un-fucking-acceptable?
After receiving a mental ass-kicking, the teller and his co-workers who were standing over the shoulder, dumbfounded and too stupid to realize the problem my mother and I faced, we finally got them to agree to set in motion the actions that would get us the emergency medicaid certification on Monday.

Back to me:
It's now 2:00 Mountain Time on said Monday and nothing has been done. Again, I've spent too much time on the phone trying to get someone at SSA to give me information on whether or not the emergency certification process has been started. I've left messages for two agents, as well as two supervisors. So far, nothing. I've called Austin, nothing. I've called the local DHHS, nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. The process is: SSA faxes Austin an "ok for Medicaid- please rush" letter, then Austin faxes the local DHHS the emergency certification letter, then DHHS lets me know to pick it up, then I pick it up and all is well for the next 20 days. Austin offices close in an hour. If this isn't done today, I can't get my medication today. If not tomorrow, same thing. And it goes on and on and on and on...until the month is over.

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