Monday, November 28, 2011

Still Getting Screwed

In the hospital I lost my health insurance. This happens if you have a major injury that can't be fixed right away and you can't return to work, if your medical insurance is through them. But you think, "that's  no worry. I pay Social Security. I see it on my pay stub." It takes a couple years for Medicare to kick in.

Luckily, there is Medicaid. (I found out Medicaid is NOT in every state. So these people are screwed.) So I had Medicaid and it was awful. I did what I call the "Medicaid Shuffle"-I went from one placement to the next. I saw 5 hospitals, 2 nursing homes, and 1 long-term care facility in 2 years. I managed to stay the last year in the same place until it closed the unit where I was. I was then able to manage a transfer home.

I now have both Medicaid and Medicare. Things are better, but not much. I'm lucky in that I know what I need. Most aren't like this, though. Then I read this in a UCP newsletter:

California Dual-Eligibles Cite Problems with Getting Care
Patients that are on both Medicaid and Medicare in California are running into issues when trying to address their care. California has almost 1.1 million “dual-eligibles,” who account for some of the most expensive health costs around the country. The government must spend so much money on duals because of their illnesses and disabilities. Patients who are duals often bounce between the two plans and often receive unnecessary, duplicative and poorly coordinated services. They cycle through emergency rooms, hospitals and nursing homes more than other Medicare or Medicaid enrollees, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has acknowledged that the navigation between Medicare and Medicaid programs is “quite difficult and ineffective.” Starting in 2013, California state will begin a trial that will shift several hundred thousand duals into managed care plans that serve their needs. Click here to learn more.

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