GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — “I’m scared if something were to happen — you know, an emergency. We had a couple instances where it would have been nice if we could have gotten in contact with a doctor,” said Bethany Corning, of Pleasant Garden.
On Aug. 1 she took her daughter to the doctor in Guilford County and got the puzzling news that her daughter’s insurance was not showing up.
“When they looked it up, her benefits, they weren’t there they said she just wasn’t covered,” said Corning.
Corning’s kids have Health Choice for insurance. It works like Medicaid and is through the state. Individual cases are handled on the county level.
“We called and left a message for the caseworker and she called us back two days later and just said that her benefits were on hold,” Corning explained.
She has now wandered a maze of voicemails and phone calls for two weeks but says she can’t get enough information out of case workers. Meanwhile, her kids are now out of an important prescription medication that she cannot afford to pay upfront.
“They’re severe ADHD so, you know, they’ve been on this medication for years at this point and so to just stop all of a sudden with no kind of stepping down off the medication they are having severe symptoms,” she said.
Director of Medicaid for Guilford County Elizabeth White says patients’ insurance can look inactive because of a glitch between the doctor’s system and the state’s.
“There are instances, and these are not widespread either, that there is a disconnect between these two systems. If we are made aware of it, we can fix it,” White said. White said there have been a few cases of this in the last month, but they can typically resolve the issue in a day.
“If they have spoken to their worker and they are not getting the response that they want or they think that it is taking too long for the response they can escalate up to the program manager. There is also an email site on Guilford County’s [website] where they can email the director,” White said.
Corning is trying to stay positive, but she says her patience is running thin,
“I’m really hopeful because I want my children to get their medication back because they’ve got to start getting into that school mode. They have to have their medication for school or it just won’t work,” she said.