Gov. Hutchinson: Meet some 'anecodotes' of private option scandal | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Gov. Hutchinson: Meet some 'anecodotes' of private option scandal

Posted By on Sun, Aug 9, 2015 at 8:06 AM

click to enlarge CUT OFF: Sylvia Classic of Conway says her family lost coverage for health insurance without notice.
  • CUT OFF: Sylvia Classic of Conway says her family lost coverage for health insurance without notice.
Gov. Asa Hutcinson kissed off the scandalous blunder of the income verification process for private option health insurance coverage as being supported by "anecdotal" evidence of problems. This is how you discount pervasive, bungling of a nonsensical process and an unrealistic 10-day cutoff rule: Call it anecdotal. The implication is that it is, at best, rare and unsubstantiated on a broad basis.

As David Ramsey's extensive reporting for us has illustrated, the terminations of insurance coverage cover tens of thousands of eligible people victimized by an illogical process.

Today, John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau talks to some real life victims of the disaster, which the governor refuses to fix, though he could quite simply by an extended response time and a review process before cancellation. We've talked to some of the same people (Lyon looked up at at least one person who responded to our call for stories on social media). We plan more reporting in this week's Times.

Meanwhile, Lyon's story is instructive — people played by the rules and still were thrown off coverage. In the case of lost medication, for some those are days without needed drugs they'll never get back.

Example:

Sylvia Classic of Conway said she received no notice before DHS canceled coverage for her and her husband under the private option and their 16-year-old son under ARKidsFirst. She said a pharmacy called Tuesday to say her insurance was not covering her medication, and Wednesday, she received a package containing three cancellation notices.

Classic has gone back to school, and her husband has been looking for work for some time. The family currently has no income, she said.

Classic also has Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. She cannot take over-the-counter medication for her symptoms, not even painkillers, and her condition has required surgery in the past and likely will again. She said she is certain she did not miss an income verification notice from DHS.

“With Crohn’s disease, if there is any communication that comes to me from DHS or any other source that I know involves my coverage, I absolutely respond to it,” she said. “I look for these things, because this is one of the most important parts of keeping me alive.”

If the governor won't fix this soon, perhaps legal action will get his attention.

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