Friday, September 24, 2010

Health Care Woes Continue...

I've been going back and forth in my mind about posting about our quest for health coverage for the babies. Mostly because I feel a little bit like a failure about the whole thing. It's frustrating to me that I have a masters degree from an Ivy League school and yet I can't provide my children with health coverage because I don't have an extra $20,000 a year. Not to mention I'm now going on month two of this nonsense and in the meantime my babies are without a pediatrician and without coverage. It's an incredibly scary situation to be in.

I mentioned before that we applied for a state run program that's for children without coverage. The application process was fairly straight forward, the premiums and coverage seemed reasonable. Flash forward to a few weeks ago we received a letter saying we were denied this coverage because we "might" qualify for medicaid.

Ok fine whatever I guess. Then on Monday I received another series of letters in the mail from some caseworker who then wanted an insane amount of information. Originals of birth certificates for all four of us, plus another means of identification verification. (Fun with one year olds who don't have need for identification on a regular basis). Then the extra challenge was getting them originals plus I'm 99% sure that we don't qualify for medicaid.

Tuesday I call the office, was on hold for 12 years, and then finally spoke to one of the most unpleasant people in the universe. I first wanted to know the guidelines for qualifying for medicaid because frankly it's a complicated process and I don't want to waste my time. I was told that she was not authorized to give that information and only "representatives" know.

I then wanted to speak to a representative, that was a no go. According to this lady the guidelines are super top secret. I also asked about the need for original copies. We learned that we must locate a welfare office take our originals there have some one view them, copy them, and then stamp and sign them. Okay awesome...

So Wednesday my day off the babies and I set off for our very first visit to a welfare office. Holy, the place was so busy and disorganized with a line stretching to the door.

Finally, after about an hour we get to the window where I begin to pull my original documents from my file when the lady asks, "Did you make copies of those?" Seriously?! What the heck? I was specifically instructed to bring originals not copies.

So we get out of line locate a copy machine and make the required copies. Then we get back into the line and repeat the above. The lady looks at my originals and then stamps and signs the copies.

Great some progress. Except after she does that she sticks them somewhere and says okay bye.

Um... what? More confusion sets in as my paperwork says to get the stamped copies and submit them with the rest of my life story (pay-stubs, a form that must be filled out by my landlord, and a million other things).

So I simple request to have the stamped copies so I can submit all of my documents together. (Call me crazy but I'm not overly trusting that my documents will get to the appropriate person by the deadline, in this overly busy, understaffed welfare office).

So instead of leaving I instead ask for my copies so that I can file the entire thing together. This is when I learn that once you make a copy in the welfare office it becomes government property and I can't take it off the premise!! What kind of a rule is that? This office and random lady now has copies of my children's birth certificates, mine and Marcus' passports, my SS #, etc. etc. Again call me crazy but I'd rather be responsible for the sending and sharing of all of that information. Plus their brilliant solution was to fill out the rest of the paperwork while sitting in their office and they would then submit the whole thing. Um... yeah except that it requires things like a third party verification of who lives in our home, and how we pay our bills, plus pay-stubs and more private information (seriously).

So again I request the documents so I can handle this whole thing on my own. This prompts the need for a discussion with a supervisor, and eventually the best I get is a copy of my copies.

I'm still not really satisfied with this and frankly the whole situation just makes me angry and annoyed. Plus like I said I'm 99% sure we don't even qualify for medicaid so we're jumping through hoops, being treated like second class people, giving out a lot of personal information, for probably no reason.

Ph.D and university insurance is looking like a better answer every single day.


~Jess said...

That is absolute BS! A is on medicaid...we qualify. All we had to show was her birth certificate and ss#, Matt and my driver's license, and 2 pay stubs. I think these people are giving you the run around.

Here's two links I found online for NV:

I'm not sure how much money you guys are making, but you should be eligible for some kind of low cost insurance.

There's also nevada check up which works with small-employers to provide health insurance to children of employees at lower cost.

I'm sorry you guys are dealing with this and that no one is being at all helpful. Does your hometown have a small(er) office (or county?) that handles all of these kinds of things? They might be easier to deal with rather than a "big city" office.

sadie607 said...

Thanks Jess. We original applied for NV Check up which is what I think we qualify for. Based on what I've seen (which who knows if it's accurate) we don't qualify for medicaid but we do qualify for NV check up.

Your process sounds way easier for A then what I've been dealing with over here. I'm just getting angrier as the days go by and nobody will answer my questions.

Hopefully we'll get through this B.S. very soon. My hometown might have a smaller office but I don't think we can find time in our schedules to make the 165 mile drive home. Boo for all this crazy nonsense


melissa w. said...

Since I read this post the other day, you have been on my the point I explained it to my husband..we have 5 kids (including twin girls) and know the value in a good insurance plan. I know we don't live in the same state so things may be different, BUT I have to at least tell you how we do it..just in case it could be an option for you..we own a small business so we don't have an employee health plan, we joined a Farm Bureau, pay $25 a year to be a member and then we can buy Blue cross health ins. at the group rate they get. It is VERY affordable, we pay about $500 a month for 7 people. I don't know if you have farm bureau in your state BUT I would check..I sincerely hope and pray you can find a solution!!! By the way, I am stealing the halloween costume idea from last year!! The twin girls, they are 1, will be nuns and my 2 year old boy will be a priest

foxy said...

That is so lame. SO LAME!
In my state the welfare office is run by the County, and you should have an elected County Supervisor/Commissioner who has staff who deal specifically with constituents like yourself. You could give them feedback about your experience, and then ask for their assistance to be sure that you paperwork doesn't get lost. It never hurts to have the Boss's office call and ask about a specific case...

The Farm Bureau suggestion is also a really good one. ML and I did that when we were self insured. Good Freakin Luck! and three cheers for federal health care reform that will fix this mess of a system over the coming years.