Friday, June 2, 2017

Safety Net, More Like Safety NOT.

Cartoon JRose on the phone looks annoyed - cartoon Stevie cat hides behind her. A speech bubble coming from the phone says "We'd like for you to stop sucking so much."

I have been contacted by at least 4 of my 5 current medical providers in the past week chastising me for being an irresponsible jerk. The problem is, I am totally responsible and also, that kind of judgment is super bad for my health, guys, stop it.

As I've said before, I'm poor. Yes, we have the sweet sweet financial aid currently, that makes life so much more enjoyable, but since that is a gift from the government (that they expect to get back someday), and it only goes for basic living stuff, we still receive bare minimum safety net services, like Medicaid (Thanks, Obama), and when you have social services, there is a whole lot of hoop jumping that comes along with it.

And I'm not even complaining. I'm getting something incredibly valuable for free, basically. I mean, I paid into the system for a decade before coming to need these services, but I am almost entirely fine with having to fill out endless paperwork and report my every change to these agencies, because basically they are keeping me alive, and for that, I would do an assload of paperwork, man.

The problem is, I did my paperwork. A week after I moved. I went onto their website like their paperwork instructed me to, and I changed my Primary Care Provider, like they told me to, and I waited a month until my new coverage kicked in to make any doctor's appointments, like a super responsible girl, even though I desperately needed to see those doctors then, only to find out that the website we were all told to use, doesn't seem to be attached to anything!

Even worse, after getting the situation squared away by calling their hotline, I asked to make a complaint about the website not working and here's what I was told:

We know that there's a problem. We are working diligently to fix the issue that is making it so that the website collects data, tells you it registered you, but then spits the information out into the ether. It's a particular problem with the medical center that serves your area. Unfortunately, we can't tell those providers that this is an issue we're having so they stop chastising you because we have no way of knowing that you actually tried to sign up, you could be making it up and this whole problem could just be that you people are liars. This problem... that we've been trying to deal with for at least 3 months now... that countless people have complained about. Have you tried not being poor?

I might be paraphrasing slightly. Anyway, it's frustrating enough that I've written this novella about it. There's the whole myth of the Welfare Queen living high on benefits from the government, but being humiliated on a regular basis because technology is hard for the government doesn't feel very royal to me. All I'd really like is for Montana Medicaid's IT department to contact my providers and tell them there's an issue with the website and that their clients aren't just sitting around eating bonbons and laughing in the face of responsibility. Okay, maybe I would like some bonbons too, but I would really like them to take responsibility for their errors, instead of putting it all on the poor people who are trying to do the right thing on a broken system.

buy me bonbons!


  1. People who spout the welfare queen rhetoric have no idea what they are talking about, and they simply make things harder for people who can barely afford to get through it as it is.

    I hope this settles quickly

  2. How frustrating! I am very behind on visiting, so I hope this is well on its way to being resolved by now. You deserve a bon bon or five!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...