Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Update on Things---Dealing with TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Back in late November I wrote about how I had finally gotten approved for assistance for Medicare Part D by the Social Security Administration.  It took a while longer, but, I now know in general terms what kind of basic help I will receive on my medication costs. Anything helps and this will help me. Late last week I applied online for the program I wanted for drug coverage after overriding in the system (I think) the program that they had automatically put me into.

No surprise that the program they were automatically putting me into--something offered through AARP---had restrictive drug quantity limits and would not cover one of the drugs I am on for my high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Having played drug roulette before where my blood pressure meds were changed due to insurance nonsense with the result I wound up in the hospital, I have no interest in doing that again.  

Back when I was working I used to scare folks because sometimes I would be beet red in the face and other times I would be as pale as a ghost. People I worked with tended to notice that sort of thing. It isn’t something you can hide like trying not to limp even when your leg and back are hurting big time. I have weird blood pressure issues where I can easily soar sky high (over two hundred) and then drop to below a hundred twenty minutes later. Basically, it is a roller-coaster effect and I have to be on meds that handle that sort of thing. Therefore, I went with a program that appears to not only be cheaper than the program they picked for me but also--at least for now--covers my drugs. It is going to be another ten days or so before I know if I got in and when coverage starts.

Like I said, anything helps. If things go the way I want, this will help.

Dealing with TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES remains far more difficult than it should be or is necessary. Appeal letters went out today trying again to get us back on food stamps and Medicaid for Sandi and Scott. Somehow, and probably because of the original foul-up with Social Security, they have Sandi making a very nice income. I have provided proof again that the figure is/was wrong. I have also provided again documented proof that she is out on UNPAID medical leave and, in addition to other issues, is facing some sort of cardiac surgery to remove the thing from her chest wall slightly behind her heart. I have sent proof to the various people at the various levels who have handled the case incorrectly in the hopes that one of them can fix his or her error and thus restore our much needed food stamps and their Medicaid coverage.

I also included the latest bill from the cancer doctor as Texas Medicaid has not paid that. Now the bill has risen to 847 dollars and with more cancer treatment most likely needed in the upcoming weeks it needs to be paid by them ASAP.

What really took the cake with Texas HHSC was the deal we got yesterday. As I explained back in late November, I had been denied by Texas HHSC for help with Medicare Part B because I had failed to fill out an application. Being certified by the feds wasn’t good enough for the state folks. Also, the family being on food stamps with the same agency having financial records and every other thing on us going back two years plus was not good enough. I had to fill out another application for that and I hadn’t done so. Of course, one can’t fill out an application if one does not get one. So, I appealed the decision--pointed out the obvious problem that NO APPLICATION ever arrived--and requested an application.

I continued to request an application from each person in a different office in the state as the case was assigned a hearing officer, a date and time, etc. I kept pointing out there was no need for a hearing at this point as all I really needed was an application. I finally got my application yesterday.


After repeatedly requesting it and never once using anything other than ENGLISH, they sent me a multi-page horrendously long form all in SPANISH.  I can’t read Spanish. I can’t write Spanish. I do not understand anything sent to me in Spanish. My Spanish understanding consists of two obscenities. Two obscenities that I will not repeat here and are not found on any government forms to the best of my knowledge.

I have requested this morning an application in my native language of English.

Next time you see Texas Governor Perry on television talking about waste of tax dollars and how the state of Texas will not participate in the expansion of Medicaid because the state can set up things so much better than federal folks, think about us. Think about what we went through and have been going through to get the very little bit of assistance this state provides to their neediest residents. Residents, who, through no fault of their own, got sick, can’t continue to work, and need help.

Think about how Texas ranks number one in the number of people without insurance. Think about how Texas ranks at near the bottom on education and a number of other things. Think about us and what we have gone through and are still going through.

It just isn’t right. It is bad enough to be sick, disabled, etc. but those in charge make things much worse and much harder than they have to be.



Barry Ergang said...

Governor Perry is a prime example of a certain political party's hypocrisy--not least because he tries to pass himself off as a compassionate Christian.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

What bothers me more is the fact he keeps talking about how the feds can't do anything and how successful his agencies are and then we have these deals.

Makes as much sense as me writing a weight loss book and saying how great my program is while it is pretty clear it is not.

0s0-Pa said...

Yikes... life sure can be a P.I.T.A. at times :/
-Jackie @ human services software