About a month ago, I wrote about a Medicare mistake that created a big problem for a Tucsonan. Here’s an update on that situtation.
The mistake was actually made at Social Security since this is the agency that processes enrollments for Medicare. In Donna’s case, she was determined to be disabled by Social Security and somebody there decided her disability occurred well before she submitted her application. This happens on occasion, and the disabled person is very happy to learn they don’t have to wait two years for Medicare coverage. Most people must wait 24 months to get Medicare after they win their Social Security Disability case.
Apparently, the backdating of Donna’s disability status should not have happened, and Social Security did not realize it until Donna had already been on Medicare for three months.
Donna’s Medicare was canceled, but someone at Social Security wrote a letter for Donna saying her COBRA coverage should be re-instated so she would not have a gap in health insurance coverage. Donna sent the letter to her last employer and had no problem getting back her COBRA plan.
Now Donna has to deal with the medical bills she incurred between April 1st and July 1. Her Medicare Advantage plan paid those bills and will now ask the doctors and labs for their money back. Then Donna will have to make sure the bills get re-submitted to her COBRA plan.
Donna is relieved that she has her expensive COBRA policy back, but she is overwhelmed by the complications she has faced over the last month. All of this has intensified her health problems, and Donna is suffering as a result of the “mistake”. Of course, you can’t sue the government for “pain and suffering”.
Donna was helped by Dan Frey in Congressman Ron Barber’s office who took quick action to get answers for her. Dan could not fix the Social Security mistake, but he made sure they acted quickly so Donna would not have a gap in her coverage. Dan is the “go-to-guy” if you have problems with Medicare or Social Security.
So Donna is back to square one and is covered again by her expensive COBRA plan. That’s not as good as having Medicare, but it’s not a bad as having no health insurance.