Mississippians React To Medicaid Delay - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/28/04

Mississippians React To Medicaid Delay

Jason Krohn and his dad Larry lost track of just how many medical prescription questions they tried to answer for customers who were about to be taken off Medicaid.

"It's been wild," the elder pharmacist said. "We've got people where it runs anywhere from costing them $200 a month to more than $1,500 a month for prescriptions."

Those people originally had until Thursday to refill prescriptions before they lost their Medicaid coverage. Now that deadline is September 15th.

"Maybe with a three month delay," Krohn surmised, "the doctors can find some other medicines that are less expensive they can move them over to that are adequate, give them some relief."

Joanne Morgan is one of the people looking for inexpensive medicine. Morgan has been an outspoken critic of Governor Barbour's plan to shift 65,000 people like her from Medicaid to Medicare.

"I was very worried," she said, describing how she felt when her letter arrived. "I was very upset, because like I said, if you don't take your medicine, you don't walk."

Morgan's medicines cost $2,000 a month. So when she got her Medicaid letter, she did her homework, and she found a way to get her prescriptions filled. She's still not thrilled with the transition plan . But she is thankful for the 90 day extension.

"It's very important," she said. "But it's more important to a lot of others who didn't have anything in the works. If they will go to the doctors and do the paperwork, they are helping."

During the extension period, the state division of Medicaid will contact every person being moved from Medicaid to Medicare. State workers will help those people enroll in the correct prescription drug plan.

by Brad Kessie

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