Friday, December 08, 2006

Playing the mental card

Once again I had to pull out the mental card and play it in order to get Medicaid to do their fucking job. I don't like telling people I'm mentally ill, it's really none of their business. But this is the second time in dealing with them that I felt they were simply stonewalling me and not doing their jobs correctly. That they were causing me unnecessary stress because they couldn't be bothered taking an extra minute of their time to look into something further that I just knew wasn't right on their end. So I brought up being ill and walla, suddenly their system really is wrong and they'll try to get it corrected immediately.

I talked to my new case worker today, cuz apparently now that I have added my daughter back onto Medicaid, I don't get to deal with the local office anymore. The convenient one that is just 10 minutes away that I could drive to when I had questions on things that had me completely baffled, like this shit. Instead I now have a case worker down in Springfield, which is what...6-7 hours away from Chicago? Ah, the joys of bureaucracy.

Anyway, I asked her to explain the second of two forms I received yesterday. The first one of course said the kiddie is eligible for medical benefits beginning in January. But the second one said she didn't qualify for the back-dated insurance because we received some kind of presumptive eligibility in the last 12 months. I told the case worker that my daughter hasn't been on Medicaid since November 2004, so she hasn't had any kind of eligibility this year. We've never even applied for this program before now.

The case worker said that letter was sent because we don't qualify for the free coverage due to my level of income (again, I have to laugh at that whole income thing) and therefore they couldn't automatically back-date the coverage to September. I'm thinking that's odd because they specifically ask you on the application if your child has received any medical care in the past 3 months from the date you're filing that you want the state to pay for and if so, for what months. Instead they need to send me another form that I need to sign and send back.

So of course being the bitchy borderline I can be when I'm stressed and things seem completely illogical to me I ask why would I need to do more paperwork when I already provided all the information on the application, it doesn't make any sense. All it's doing is further delaying getting the $3,000 in bills we have from September paid and adding to my stress because the hospital and others are threatening collections.

She was nice and all, so I tried to remain relatively calm. She just re-explained how it all works and that as soon as they receive this other form back from me their system will get updated immediately, assuring me that I won't have to wait as long as I did for the initial application to be processed. She told me to call the hospital and other creditors and once again explain the situation. Tell them that I have approval for the kiddie's insurance, give them her ID# and let them know I'm just waiting for Medicaid to back-date the coverage.

Playing the mental card worked though because shortly after I got off the phone with her, she suddenly calls back doing a complete reversal on what she'd previously told me. She said she looked into my application further and said we never should have received the letter denying the back coverage and that we should be approved without having to fill out additional paperwork. She's going to still send the form just in case, but that she'll talk to her supervisor about getting the system updated Monday so I can tell the creditors to bill Medicaid.

I knew something wasn't right to begin with, especially when the denial letter stated something about eligibility in the last 12 months. But they always think they're right since they "know how their system and the program works". Typical government employees. Doing the bare minimum that needs to be done. Not willing to spend an extra minute or two to double check if a possible error was made on their end (as if they truly believe the government doesn't make errors, again I have to laugh) unless they're worried about you possibly going postal on their asses.

So I should hear back from the case worker Monday. All this just makes me do people that are "sane" get anywhere with them?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason I'm even able to apply for SSDI and public aid/Medicaid right now is because of my case manager at Thresholds. He does most of the paperwork and knows the ins and outs of these government agencies, including how to "harrass" them if necessary. It sounds like having an advocate like that would really help your situation so that you won't have to deal with it, which just adds more stress that you don't already need.

I highly recommend that you look into Thresholds. They have a lot of different locations, and I'm sure they have some in the suburbs. It doesn't mean you have to go and hang out there and attend the different groups they offer, though some do help. I mainly go there so my CM can help me file all this paperwork, etc.

Good luck, and good for you for insisting that they double check, even if you had to play the mental card. Me, I don't care who knows that I'm "mental." Hell, if it'll help me get what I need it, then so be it.

5:11 AM, December 09, 2006  

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