Seniors Afraid And Confused Over Latest Medicaid Policy

Gulfport resident Inez Hover won't let Lupus, arthritis, and heart trouble stop her from creating hand-made gifts for her family.  She's embroidering an apron for someone in her family.

Hover smiled and said "So they'll have something to think about when I'm gone".

Hover's happy thoughts are on Christmas, but her worries are on Medicaid. After all, the 90-year old Medicaid recipient has already received several letters from the state concerning her benefits.

Hover said "I got one taking me off, and I got one putting me on".

Ruby Felder said "It's confusing, because you don't know what they're going to do".

Felder and her friends at the Charles Walker Senior Center agree 2004 has been anything but a seamless year for Medicaid. They say the latest policy change that forces them to re-apply for benefits and face one-on-one interviews only creates more hardships.

Felder said "Yeah, I'm concerned. I'd have to ask somebody to take me, and I have to pay them to bring me back".

Some seniors fear this time, they may truly be cut from the Medicaid rolls.

Hover said "Well, I might not pass, for one thing. I just have to do the best I can".

That means putting on a smile and praying for an end to all the uncertainty.

By: Trang Pham-Bui