At 70, I've been rather healthy and have not had a need to utilize - as yet - my Medicare or Medicaid. At age 62, due to lack of work, I had to take early retirement and begin Social Security. I also qualified for food stamps. I'm not married; no children; no relatives. For awhile I didn't participate in Medicare Plan B because I simply couldn't afford to. Then I realized that there was help to pay for the premiums called the Medicare Savings Program, which I qualified for.
This in turn led me to more help via Medicaid. I assumed, wrongly it would seem, that I qualified for full Medicaid help. The term they have used on the yearly renewal papers I receive for Medicaid is "Medically Needy." I assumed I would not have to worry about any "deductibles" should the need arise since I was both Medicare and Medicaid. I wrongly didn't investigate any further since I didn't have any medical needs.
I now have some eye and other issues that need to be taken care of. So I looked into "Medically Needy." Imagine my surprise when it said I must "share the cost" because some bureaucrat decided my income "exceeded" the Medicaid limits!
First, the ONLY income I have is Social Security and that is $8,460 A YEAR (2018) I have no other assets; I don't own a car; I don't have other means of support; I don't own a home; I must pay rent from only $705 SS a month (rent goes up each year; currently it's $500 month, one of the cheapest in town). Utilities are always high no matter how much I conserve in this old apt. complex; my city has the highest rates in the state of Florida. I have qualified for a very low rate of Internet for a couple of years but once that program ends, I won't be able to afford ANY Internet. There is no suitable senior public housing. I have one credit card with a low limit that I am attempting to pay off but must use for necessities (dish liquid, toilet paper, etc) sometimes or other household emergencies. I get $192 month in food stamps and that may sound like a lot but with always rising food costs, it really isn't. I often use the credit card to pay for food. And round and round I go. I'm lucky if I "clear" $10 each month in "cash." Sometimes it's less than that, depending on utilities.
Really, if anyone should qualify for full Medicaid and prescriptions, I think I would be a likely candidate. So what do I do now? They've put me at "Medically Needy" for several years! How can I correct this? Getting anyone on the phone in years past has been a nightmare - one cannot stay on hold, you're repeatedly disconnected and forced to call back FOR HOURS.
I need to use the system in the coming weeks and this is worrying the heck out of me. I don't have any extra cash to pay outright to any doctor until Medicaid decides to kick in for that one month.
I am at a loss to explain why someone could see that I somehow exceeded the poverty limits for Medicaid. My poverty level "income" is right there on my annual renewal forms! If anyone can explain this, please do. What am I missing? How to get real help with this on Monday?