Saturday, December 03, 2005

Medicaid Woes

I'm trying to get Michaela on Medicaid. Actually, we make too much $$$ to qualify for SOBRA Medicaid (even with one income and 5 kids--go figure), but I heard about something called a "Medicaid Waiver Program" that is not income based. Cool. We have pretty decent insurance as it is, but there's always copays and deductibles and uncovered fees (like wheelchairs and enteral pumps) that can be overwhelming for our budget. If we could just get Medicaid for those fees, then I won't have a whole lot to worry about--even for unexpected situations.

The Waiver works like this:

~Someone has a serious debilitating condition (mental retardation, CP, MS, HIV, etc)
~They have certain needs associated with that condition (bathing, nursing, medical equipment, etc)
~The State is compelled to provide services for people within these categories up to a predetermined number
~They get Medicaid AND whatever services provided for under the waiver
~All for FREE with no regard for income--simply because they got the short end of the stick

OK, so this is what I've learned, and I'm understandably excited about this. Not only will Medicaid pick up the tab for some of her medical fees, BUT they will also provide some services IN MY HOME, at no cost to me. Simply because I have a mentally handicapped child. I could really use those services sometimes too. At the beginning of the year, she was completely incompetant, and I was completely pregnant. It was all but impossible for me to bathe her without hurting myself. If it weren't for my dear friend Nicky, I don't know what I would have done. Come to find out, Medicaid waiver would've been able to help me with that.

Well, there's one catch: the Government doesn't want me to find out about this. They really don't want to pry their slimey fingers off of our tax money. Therefore, I have been engaged in the most incredibly ludicrous "goose-chase" I think I've ever been on! I CANNOT get a straight answer out of these people! I cannot get anyone on the phone who knows what I'm talking about
and will direct me to the right place. I've been shuffled from phone number to voice mail to agency so many times I can't keep count.

So I called someone completely unrelated, but who knows their stuff when it comes to advocating for handicapped people. When I told him my situation, he knew exactly what I was going through. He told me that in order to get the services, I have to KNOW what they're supposed to do so I can make them do it. Otherwise they won't do it, and even lie to not do it! How outrageous is that!?! I have to know how some government peon in a cubicle is supposed to do their job so I can get the services for my daughter that's entitled to her? Arrrgghhhh!

Well, they've met their match. Cuz you know what? I know just how to do it. I know just how to be the nicest person they've ever met, and all the while telling them to their face that they're lying to me and that they have to cough up the info. No problem. I'm just too persisitent to let a deal like this get away, especially when it's right there for the taking. Not to mention, I got the number for the head honcho. The Big Boss for the entire state. Her personal number.

Just wait. I'll have her on this thing within a week.

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