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Re: “Democrats want Hutchinson to do more on people harmed by health insurance cutoff

Your story alerted me to this problem today. Based on your reports and some of the comments from readers, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s already a Medicaid termination notice in the mail on its way to me.

I initially had a longer, more detailed version of this comment typed out, but to sum up: I got a letter last week but didn’t realize there was a problem until I saw your story today. So I looked at the letter again. It was a plain white envelope with an unfamiliar (not local) return address, the letter inside was dated over a week before I actually received it, and the deadline to return the paperwork will have passed by the time they get it. There's no mention of being able to submit it locally, email or fax it, or otherwise get it where it needs to be quickly.

As soon as I realized I might have a problem (after reading your story) I immediately tried calling the Access Arkansas call center to request a 5-day extension as Amy Webb’s “FAQ” mentions (Good thing your story included that information from Webb, because the notice I received in the mail had no such “FAQ” and definitely no mention of extensions.) I waited and waited, but I couldn't get through on the Access Arkansas line due to high call volume. Same thing happened when I called my local DHS office instead; I got a busy signal first, then later a message saying there were 20 callers ahead of me. And then they closed at 4:30 while I was still waiting for someone to answer. There was no option to leave a voicemail.

So, even if I were ready to mail the paperwork to the processing center first thing in the morning tomorrow (I’m not) and they somehow got it the same day (they won’t) and they processed it immediately (haha, yeah right) it would already be too late for me, because I could not get an extension in time.

Amy Webb’s “FAQ” indicates that I have already lost my health coverage at this point. But wait, now there’s Asa Hutchinson’s two week “moratorium” on terminations! (?) So between my missing the deadline, with no extension, and there already being a backlog of forms to process anyway, how does this affect my coverage, specifically my ability to refill prescriptions or see my doctor for next couple of weeks (or months?) while DHS catches up? I don’t know; I can’t get a straight answer from anyone because no one will pick up the phone.

Lucky for me, though, my SNAP case is still open for now, even if I lose Medicaid. So I guess I'll still have ramen and hot dogs to look forward to after my antidepressants and other medications run out. (That last bit was sarcasm, in case it didn't come across.)

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by underling on 08/05/2015 at 10:49 PM


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