Two Medicaid Recipients Say No To Quick Fix - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/16/05

Two Medicaid Recipients Say No To Quick Fix

After multiple heart attacks and transplants, William Schram's life depends on at least 14 prescriptions each month. But under a new state bill, Medicaid will only cover five.

Schram and his neighbor Linda Moran applied for the Medicare drug discount cards which are supposed to help ease the burden of paying for prescription drugs.

They say this is where the confusion begins.

"These drug cards are not the answer, because if you've got Medicaid, you can't use them. I've got one. I got companies trying to send me others, but they're no good when you got Medicaid," Schram said.

"I applied for the Medicare drug card which is supposed to be for people who are of low income, have a low monthly income, and it's been a struggle. I applied and I've been denied. I appealed the decision with Maximus, which is an outside agency contracted out with Medicare. It's not done directly by Medicare, so I think that's a problem there. I keep being told that I'm denied because I have Medicaid, Mississippi Medicaid," Moran said.

They say the Medicare discount cards would definitely come in handy, especially now that they have just recently received letters detailing the legislature's decision to reduce more of their benefits.

They believe the legislature's decision was a quick fix, which has left most Medicaid recipients without knowing how they are going to get by.

They say this game needs to be settled once and for all, with a final decision that will benefit everyone involved.

"We hope somewhere down the line that enough people will finally get together and voice their opinions about this," said Schram.

The cuts were made by the legislature earlier this year to reduce the state's Medicaid costs from a projected $683 million in the coming year to $516 million. That's a 24 percent decrease.

By Karla Redditte

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