Wednesday, March 5
#GetCovered My Healthcare Story is an Open Letter to the Governor of Illinois
March 5, 2014
Governor Pat Quinn
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Dear Governor Quinn:
Thank you so much for your embrace of Health Care Reform. I deeply appreciate living in a state where ensuring health coverage for all citizens is a priority.
I am having a problem receiving such coverage for myself and my husband, however. My family of five lives on an income of less than $51,000 (ACA guidelines for Medicaid). My entire family used to be covered by Medicaid. On October 31 my husband and I were cut off of Medicaid, and my children were changed over to the Family coverage, $10. per month per child. I was assured by those on the ACA exchange helpdesk, etc. that I would do well on the exchanges at my current income.
Allow me to add that my husband and I are well-educated and very familiar with government and customer service bureaucracies on a first-hand basis. We have sat on the other side of that desk, and are very patient with those trying to provide services to a vast number of people with limited budgets and time frames.
In late December I finally was able to register on the ACA website, and lo and behold my husband and I are eligible for...Medicaid! I laughed with one of the ACA helpdesk people, well knowing that not only was I being moved from state money to expansion money, but that your office could count me as “uninsured” -- a success story for your statistics!
Really, Governor, I don’t mind being used as a statistic. But I received a letter from DHS on January 8 asking for income confirmation, and responded IN PERSON with a stack of all requested documentation on January 15. Since then, I have spoken once with a case manager in the Springfield DHS office, who at first did not believe that my paperwork was in his office. He then found it and told me I was now “in the pipeline.”
It is now March 4. The deadline for ME to have insurance is at the end of the month. When is the deadline for DHS to provide me with coverage, or at least an answer? The ACA website will not allow me to apply for subsidies to buy insurance, because I am eligible for Medicaid under the expansion. So I wait, uninsured. I am certain this is not what you or ACA intend to have happen. I know you are working with limited resources. But please, do what you can to get me and other Medicaid applicants processed quickly.
Your staff may call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX if you have any questions. Thank you very much.
With all good wishes,
cc: Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services
Duly noted for this blog entry: Thank God I don't live in a damned Red State, and the DHS waiting room is the most soul-crushing place I have ever sat in my entire life with the possible exception of the Heating Assistance Office.
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