Saturday, April 4, 2009

$3.49 a Year


My 90 year old aunt got a letter today saying her medical assistance would be discontinued on April 13 because the cost of living increase she got from Social Security on January 1 had pushed her income beyond the allowable limit by $3.49. I kept reading the black type over and over, sure I wasn't seeing it right. She is making $3.49 a year too much to qualify for Medicaid benefits, and so they are taking away her home care and hospital inpatient care and doctor visit coverage. I had an instant headache. If you disagree, the letter said, you can file a fair hearing to protest this. Now I have to get the lawyer involved again and spend months untangling this so my aged, completely disabled aunt who cannot do anything for herself, who can barely get words to form in her mouth, who cannot shuffle from the chair to the bed without someone there to catch her, who cannot bathe or feed herself or recall if she took her medication, can be cared for. Just $3.49 a year is all it takes to send the whole sham house of cards crashing down. Seriously?

11 comments:

  1. Grr. This kind of thing makes me so mad.

    Your poor aunt. She is lucky she has family to watch out for her.

    Please let us know how it turns out for her!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is hard to describe how neverending the whole elder care maze is for those without the financial means to do it all themselves. The very rich and the very poor will be taken care of. Those in between get caught in all the loopholes. And not even the people at social services know what the rules are! Thanks for getting mad, though. I do appreciate it...

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so heartbreaking. I can only imagine your frustration. Exactly the kind of nonsense that Obama wants to fix... I hope they let him do it. And I hope that something can be worked out for your aunt.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Deborah. We'll have to work something out because there is no other alternative. It's going to cost a lot more than $3.49 to work it out, though!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so sorry - this is really unbelievable!

    I wonder what happens to those like your aunt without family fighting for them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. lilaphase-I once asked my aunt's eldercare lawyer this very question, "What happens to those who have no one to intercede for them?" He said, "They die sooner." Sobering. Thanks for the concern.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is probably a dumb question, but can she refuse or have them roll back the COL increase, since that's the cause of the problem?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Deborah, unfortunately, the bureaucracy is so unweildy, a mere citizen isn't able to get such a thing accomplished unless they could devote themselves to the effort literally full time. (I know you think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.) The agency could have made her pay that $3.49 to them, if they had been so inclined, which would have been fine. But since they took the action they did, the solution will probably take another path, involving her disability trust. Long complicated story involving lawyers and multiple fair hearings and such. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  9. have you considered sending this absolutely senseless story to Obama? (Ronnie's suggestion). Your daughter after all, did do her part to help him get elected. You never never know....

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love Deborah's idea.
    I also love this photo.
    Peace to All.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Deborah,thanks for the suggestion. I can try that...if it yields anything, will let you know.

    Leslie, my girl took this photo of her grand aunt in her living room. It captures more than you would have thought it would, seeing the casual way she raised her camera and snapped the pic. It made me stop.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...