My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Medicaid Stress

by Joyce...Sarah and I got up bright and early this morning. It was the day of our personal interview to enroll Sarah with Medicaid. I've mentioned before that this one subject is the source of great stress for me. I doubt that I can articulate with words why I have been avoiding this for so long.

But the cold hard reality is this...my Cobra benefits went from $1470 per month in July to $2245 and as of January 1 they will increase to $2473 per month. That is $29,676.00 out of pocket per year for health care. No wonder there is never any money in our checking account. Actually, the only reason we still have Cobra is Sarah. Did you know that if you are on Cobra and you have a family member with a disability you can extend your benefits an additional 18 months? Yes that's correct. The kicker...for that privilege you get to pay 150% of the premium.

Still, that little perk will run out eventually. So we will have to find health insurance on our own soon. Which means we will have to go through underwriting and with that discriminating diagnosis of 758.0(Down syndrome) we will be in tier 22 again. And the premium for that will likely be well over $3500 a month. At that rate, we will have to sell the house just to pay for health care. So....off to the welfare department we go...

...only the welfare department isn't called that anymore. No siree, it is now the Neighborhood Family Service Center. A rather attractive looking building I decide. Sarah and I walk in as naive as two young pups. The first thing that greets us is a big ole metal detector with three armed security officers. Not intimated in the slightest, Sarah hands them her purse then walks through rather proudly.

I'm not so lucky. Buzzzzzzz...goes the alarm. One officer hands me a basket for my keys. Buzzzzzz....it goes off again. "Do you have a watch on?" I'm asked. Off it comes. Buzzzzzz....once again. "Any metal on your belt?" No, I'm not wearing one," I meekly reply. The guy looks me up and down, down and up and back down again. "Must be the zipper on your boots." Oh great, I say to myself, as I look for the nearest chair to sit to take them off. I know if I bend down to take them off I'll faint for sure, my body is already giving me not so gentle reminders that it is feeling the stress of being here. "Go ahead, come on in. Don't worry about the boots," I hear in a deep booming voice.

Now that we are in, what happens? I look around. No clear directions in the form of signs, so I take the letter back over to the security guards and ask where we should go. "Stand in that line over there," he directs. Great. The line with twelve people standing before me. I find a place for Sarah to sit and then take my place. The longer I wait, the hotter I get. So I start to peel off the layers until I'm down to just my shirt. After about twenty five minutes, I've reached the front of the line. I wave Sarah over. "Next," we hear from a lady down the way.

Sarah confidently walks up and hands the woman her state ID. Then the letter. The woman starts to enter something into the computer. Then she gets a confused look on her face. She hits a few more letters on the keyboard. She asks Sarah her name...like somehow it was going to be different than the ID and the name printed on the letter. Then she looks at the calendar.

"Sorry, your appointment is for tomorrow"...

11 comments:

Simply, Sarah said...

Oh, how frustrating!
I saw the title of this post and had a sinking feeling. We are just starting to deal with Medicaid for the first time. Now that our adoption is final, it's up to us to make sure everything is taken care of correctly. Our insurance and Medicaid have coordinators though, so I'm crossing fingers and hoping hard that we won't have difficulties...probably naive, I know.
Good luck tomorrow.

Kristin said...

Aaargh!!! When we finalized Max's adoption, Medicaid kicked him off.
Good luck.

Christy said...

no no no no nooooooo

So you have to go through it all again tomorrow.

Good luck x 1000

hollyctr said...

Oh how I hate that building. I'm so sorry!!!! I know it's worth it in the end but the process pretty much sucks. Good luck, I'll be thinking of you two!

starrlife said...

I guess I don't understand your state rules for Medicaid. In Vt my child is almost automatically eligible for Medicaid due tot he diagnosis. We have to fill out a form every 6 mos that we get in the mail about her assets (which are none counting the quarters in her piggy bank). We can get respite funds for child care (less every year) and Katie Beckett money for one-to one direct care support which we use during the summer since who has time to have one to one care during the school year. We have an agency called Chidrens Health and Special Needs that helps me with the application - no line. Of course I have mixed feelings about the whole thing since it is "disability" based but I think about her needs and just do it.
So sorry it is so hard there! Awful!

Emily said...

ARGH!! I know that stress - I think I carry it around somewhere between my shoulder blades.

Our welfare office double books appointments, because people don't show up half the time. So, the day that I showed up right place, wrong time with three children under three, they were able to work me in quickly. I was amazed!

Happy Friday!

SallyK said...

Hope all goes well today. Actually we sailed right thru with Andy here in Lake County- the building was the most indimidating part of it all. Had a very nice clerk and everything - good luck!

Rochelle said...

OH NO! Praying for you right now hoping you are there for your appt and it is going really smoothly!

Sabrina said...

Okay, that really stinks! I hope that when you went back there today things went MUCH smoother for you!

Cammie Heflin said...

UGH!

Mary said...

No way! That sucks. Please tell me they saw you anyway!