Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I could not make this up

Everything about M's adoption is final. We've been to court and have certfied copies of the adoption decree. We also have her amended birth certificate and her new Social Security card with her new name on it. She's been added to Mr D's health insurance through his work. We're released from state inspections and rules about babysitters. It's all done! Peter -- nearly 15 and adored by M -- has babysat for us 3 times already!

But the tentacles of The System are still reaching for us.

We've gotten no less than 5 pieces of mail for her since the adoption was finalized, all with her new name, all insisting that she still has health coverage through the state. We now have a Medicaid card and a separate Medicaid HMO insurance card (2 of those actually). She doesn't qualify for any sort of adoption assistance, including Medicaid. (Sidebar: These are the first insurance or Medicaid cards I have ever received for a foster placement. Every time, I'd get asked for their Medicaid card at the first doctor's appointment and I'd have to explain that they don't give it to me. But, now? Now that she shouldn't have one? Now we get one.)

When we got the first letter, I though it was a mistake and that I could surely get it sorted out on my own. (Why have I not already learned better?) It was the first Medicaid HMO insurance card, so I called them. The nice lady on the phone insisted, "Oh, no, it says here in the system that she qualifies." She told me to go ahead and use it as secondary insurance to cover our copays. (Note: we have no copays for well-child visits.) I told her we weren't seeing the doctor she'd been assigned as her PCP (since it was not only not the doctor we've been seeing under this exact same Medicaid HMO during her entire stint in foster care, but was located over an hour away and on the other side of a major metropolitan area); she switched the provider and sent us a new card. So, I guess one of the cards is my fault.

I contacted my agency caseworker and the adoption caseworker with the county to say, "What the hell?" The agency caseworker has no idea either, but can't do anything to fix it. I'm sure we are at the very bottom of the county caseworker's priority list. (As we should be. People who are getting a benefit that they shouldn't and probably won't actually use much if at all? Yeah, that's certainly not going to light a fire under anyone.)

What frustrates me the most about this is the colossal waste of time that's on display here. Someone is going to have to spend time to get this resolved. Most likely, that someone is one of the people who has so much on his/her plate right now that cases are dragging out longer than necessary or kids are getting returned who shouldn't be or not removed when they should. However, I have spent as much time on it as I intend to spend. I have notified the caseworker that I have the cards and have been told to use them, contrary to what I understood when we signed the adoption paperwork. I have given the card to the pediatrician and told them that I didn't think she should qualify, but was being told she did and they were welcome to try them if they liked. Personally, I think my pediatrician is awesome and she's one of the few in the area who takes Medicaid patients because Medicaid pays so slowly and so poorly. If someone's mistake gets that office a few extra bucks to make up for the many Medicaid visits they've waited for months to get their pittance, well, I'm OK with that.