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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vicious Cycle

"Just apply for assistance!" they say.

(Except when they say, "Accepting assistance is abusing the system." But that's another story for another day.)

Let me tell you a little bit of how that "simple" solution has gone.

Steve and I have been separated five months now. Medicaid refuses to approve my application until I have child support set up through the Office of Recovery Services (ORS). ORS requires five pay stubs from my company (and a bunch of other info). My company has been in the middle of transferring over their system from paper to all-online, so they can't provide my pay stubs. Weeks after they were due, I finally accomplish the task of getting my pay stubs online, print them out at work, borrow (beg) a car and drive forty-five miles to deliver them to ORS. When I get there, the guy (who I've been calling, hasn't answered any of my voice mail btw) says, "well you could have just e-mailed them to me. Also I'll need five of Steven's pay stubs before I can proceed with the account."

So the guy who is in no rush to pay child support is now in charge of whether I get child support or not? Why would he be in any rush to respond to this request from me?

Now my Medicaid case is going to be closed because it has taken too long to work out the ORS account, and I will need to re-apply for the second time. (Don't even get me started on the re-application process.)

A few people suggested that while I wait for Medicaid I should go to the county low-income clinic for the meds I need.  I decided to do it, figuring they would be accustomed to helping people with limited resources.

I want to know how a medical professional can see someone come into her office in desperate need of help and stability, only to take as long as humanly possible to get them any of the things they need. She had to type in "depression" and "ADD" and "recently separated" into my file, so it's not like she's confused about my current status. I need my meds and can't afford the expensive varieties, so I asked her for a cheaper option.

Her response? "I know Adderall is cheaper, but I don't like to use that one because it's more likely to be abused and doesn't last very long. I'll need to request your medical history from your last doctor, that will take about a week, then I'll give your information to Karina, she will fill out an application, send it to the pharmaceutical company, and she should receive an approval or denial in about three weeks for another kind of ADD med."

Four weeks MINIMUM before I can even get an approval??? I say OK, even though I really think she should give me the Adderall because I know I can afford it and can get it in a reasonable amount of time.

Karina never calls. Two weeks go by. I borrow a car and drive forty miles back to the clinic (because they had requested income verification). I give the girl at the front desk FIVE of my pay stubs. She says, "Oh I only need one." So I take back the other four and leave. Thirty minutes after I leave (home now), Karina finally calls me. "We're going to need four of your pay stubs and last year's taxes for the application." I tell her I was just there and brought five pay stubs and the front girl told me she only needed one.

"She didn't know," she replies, like it's absolutely no big deal for a car-less person to get all the way to their office, located in the middle of nowhere. I tell her that there's no way for me to get last year's taxes, so I'm going to need a prescription for a different med. I tell her I'm desperate for the pills I need and can't provide the information she's demanding anyway, so can she please find out if I can get prescribed a cheaper med?

Despite already telling me, "The pharmaceutical companies won't accept the application without last year's taxes," she now says, "OK, we can go with five pay stubs and a letter explaining your financial situation. You can fax them to me."  If I don't have a job or a car to get back to her office, why on earth does she think I would have a fax machine?

There's just no one in "the system" who has any idea what it takes to jump through these ridiculous hoops! I am so damn tired of trying to get to a better situation only to be told, "Nope. Can't help you." I am at the absolute end of my rope. Add my emotional state about this divorce, and you can imagine where my sanity is sitting right about now. 

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Do you have a scanner by chance? If you do, scan them in and use a service like www.faxorama.com to send them.
    That isn't secure, so it may not be a great idea to be sending sensitive medical docs, though.
    Or just send them to me and I can get them faxed (securely).

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  3. Nicki Farley BrittonOctober 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Oh Aubrey I had no idea you're going thru so much. I'm so sorry. I know what its like trying so hard to get situated and stable financially and with the whole depression issue. I've battled it for years and its taken a very long time to get where I'm at and I still have my days, even weeks or more where I'm right back on the bottom. But please hang on and don't give up to the obstacles in your way. You will make it thru them and be on your way. You will get to a better place. I know from experience there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just love you and your boys. You've all touched my heart so much. Please let me know if there's anything I can ever do for you. I mean it! <3 Nicki

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  4. Aubrey! I had no freaking idea! I'm so sorry that I haven't been here for you. You let me know if you need anything at all. Love you!

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