Monday, November 22, 2010

So that's how you raise low blood pressure.

Funny story:

So, as I mentioned, there was a sudden moving happening.  M was made a fantastic job offer and had 2 weeks to find an apartment, move, and start work.  Yikes.  HUSTLE TIME

Originally, while her new job is in NH, we decided to move to a place in MA so there wouldn't be any change over in my benefits, no crazy paperwork, no lapse in medical care, and I could keep all my doctors. 

But then we redid all our finances this time including MA taxes and ugh--it didn't look like we'd be able to afford much of anything as far as a place goes.  Especially considering the gas needed for M's 30 minute highway commute.  I didn't like it.  We visited the town with the shortest commute.  We both hated it, but didn't say anything.

So I decided to do some checking around to see how hard it would be for me to move to NH.  The internet was damn useless.  The Social Security website was impenetrable.  I called my case worker at the local Social Security office, but I didn't hear back from her for days.  And this shit was moving fast.  Needed to know now.  I ended up calling the general 1-800 number for Social Security and jumped through all the necessary hoops to talk to an actual person.

I got a hold of a guy named Cedric.  Nice guy.  I asked him exactly what I'd need to do to move--just how hard it is, what benefits I'd be losing, how I'd get health care.  Cedric looked over my case file.  Told me that I was getting X amount from the federal government and x amount from the state of MA.  Leaving MA would mean I'd lose that smaller amount, but that NH would provide x amount so the overall difference would be me receiving $45 less a month.  We could swing that. 

As far as health insurance, his answer was a godsend.  He told me that as long as I was receiving federal disability benefits, I would be covered medically anywhere.  His example, "You could move to Nevada tomorrow and as long as you gave us a call to let us know once you got there, we'd send you out a new Medicaid card in the mail."

I was in shock.  I made him repeat this info about 5 times because I just couldn't believe it.  Including making him double check my file that I get SSDI (I do) in case I had gone crazy and made that up.  I'm pretty sure I cried a bit.  I mean, sure I probably wouldn't be able to see my doctors (never know though) but we could move wherever we wanted!  Close to her work!  Not in a crappy town!  Best news of the week!  I told everyone!

We found an awesome place and we moved.  I'm here now.  It's a totally awesome apartment.  We love it.  Great town.  All birch trees and train whistles. 

Right in between signing the lease and the actually moving date, I finally get a call from my case worker.  I let her know about the move and we go over the math again.  She reads me back incorrect information about my current living status.  Info that led to me getting much less than I should have been getting.  We correct that--woohoo!  Then she factors in the moving info--higher rent, more bills, "But, it's New Hampshire," so the final number is $100 less than my original number in MA before the correction.  How the hell?  She basically hangs up on me.  I freak a bit.  But M assures me we can still swing it financially.

We move.  Ouch on the joints, but great to be in a new place.

Then I call to check in with the NH Social Security office to double check on that $100 loss I've got.  We go back over the numbers.  Apparently my old case worker was a complete mush brain.  She put the total amount of rent in the space for how much M was paying, my half of the rent in the slot for my total expenses, and somehow had it down that M was paying me $250 a month for food.  WTF?  This new woman fixed all that and now I will be getting the correct amount which is more than originally!  Woohoo!  Good news!

Then she wants to make sure that I know that by moving into NH, I have lost my health insurance.  What?  No, in fact, I didn't know that.  Being told the opposite was the REASON we moved here.

Well, most states will automatically give you Medicaid if the federal government has deemed you disabled.  Not New Hampshire.  Live free or die.  They require you to reapply for state Medicaid.  On a good case, that's a 3 month process. 

I called their department and literally gave them a sob story because by then I was in full panic mode.  They told me to send in an application.  I did. 

Apparently even though I was given false information by a federal employee which led me to lose my health care, I have no other recourse. 

Bendy-person NOT happy.  Bendy-person has rage.

I might not be so mad if I wasn't sick.  This isn't like saying, okay just be sure not to break your leg for 3 months, healthy guy!  I have these things called incurable conditions/diseases.  They are degenerative.  I'd rather not let them run rampant. 

I guess I am just really mad because they don't seem to or are not allowed to give a damn.  Disabled, generally means needs to see doctors, asshole.  I'll be okay because luckily I got a mega-shit-ton worth of my meds to last me through the move and finding new doctors, but not everyone can do that.  I got practically tricked into this situation.  What if someone needed constant treatment like chemo and they got put in this situation.  Then what?  They wait 3 months and hope because, "oh well that's really too bad--I'm sorry, but that guy didn't know what he was talking about"?    That makes me hella blood-boiling mad.

Deep breath.  I know that I will be okay.  I'm crazy stubborn and can tough this out.  There is a chance I'll be able to go on M's insurance once she gets it through her new job.  Just depends if they don't deny more for being super-crippley. 

(I'm not really telling people about this.  I guess I'm too scared about the whole thing.  I don't want people to know that it's happening.  Maybe once it's over and I'm covered again.  So those of you who know me in "Real Life," [all two of you, I think], would you mind not spreading this around?)

I'm sure that this is for the best somehow.  That living in MA would have led to something worse happening.  That I had to be lied to get up here.  That where we live is where we belong.  I have enough faith to believe that.  It pays to be a crunchy pantheist.  But I'm still mad.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sudden Moving!

Sudden change in living arrangements!  M got a job 1.5 hours north of here and we're heading up!  She starts 2 weeks from today.  Today she found an apartment up there and a week from tomorrow we move. 

Until then--PACKING.

After then--UNPACKING.

Things will be a tad busy.  I will be rather absent on here.

Hope you all are well!