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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bureaucratic Black Hole

More bad news came this week when the new wheelchair ordered for Bob arrived, or didn't arrive, as it were. The wheelchair company called me and it seems that Medicare is paying only 80% of the cost and the co-pay is $722.00. I had thought for sure that his "medically needy" share-of-cost Medicaid would pick up the co-pay, but they will not because he has a Medicare Advantage plan. For some weird reason,  they would pick up the co-pay if he had straight Medicare or if he had private insurance, but not with a Medicare Advantage plan. This doesn't make a lick of sense to me and has caught me completely by surprise, because this same bureaucracy assured me, several months ago, that they would pick his co-pays as long as the amount was over $719.00. And they actually did pick up some co-pays back in September when Bob had his hernia repaired. So, I called Medicaid to find out what was going on. When I finally got a hold of someone at the Medicaid office (took forever to get through, about 90 minutes on the phone), it was explained to me that not only will they not pick up the co-pay for his wheelchair but will also not pick up ANY of the co-pays for his three months of hospitalization or his outpatient rehab. And they are so very sorry that I was misinformed.

And as for the stuff they paid for in September, oops, that must've been a mistake.

Oh lordy. Oh my. Oh shit. 

One feels as if one has landed in a bureaucratic black hole or the plot of a Kafka novel.

So now I am down to begging at charities for help. As if I have time for this. And it's a humiliating, stressful experience, to say the least. A place called "Disability Achievement" said they might be able to help us with the wheelchair, I am waiting to hear back from them....

The reason a new wheelchair was ordered for Bob is that the hospital sent him home with a standard size wheelchair and Bob is 6'3" and truly needs a bigger chair as he is very uncomfortable in this one. In order to get a bigger chair, he needs one that is "custom-fit", hence the increased cost. And Bob was so looking forward to a new wheelchair...

I tell you, this is another reason why this country needs a better health care system.


Heken M said...

If you have a Catholic Charities in your area, they may be able to offer some financial help, if not for the wheelchair, then for utilities, mortgage, etc.

Helen M said...

Good typing on my very own name. Sheesh!

Linda said...

I have been very lucky in my access to health care here in Canada but the delays are unbelievable sometimes.

I have a friend waiting for a power chair. She had her stroke over 4 years ago and is probably going to get the chair in about 2 more months and there won't be extra costs. If they had the personal finances to go private she would have had it long ago.