The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 3, 2013

Do changes really help?


GEORGETOWN — Medicaid has been making many changes and cuts, some for good, I suppose. With the economy, I am sure some are necessary. But I can’t help but wonder if they are actually a benefit.

I receive SSI disability and a medical card for medical cost and medications, which is almost impossible for me to pay financially.

I have several medical issues and that involve many medical expenses I can’t afford. Medicaid, at one point, placed co-pays on doctor appointments and name-brand medications, which I can understand; but when you live at poverty level, what do you do?

Many times I’ve been faced with the problem of no money for co-pays for medicine or to go to the doctor. I take 11 medications a day, including insulin. Now there are co-pays on most everything except insulin.

There have been times between October and February when I’ve gone without medication for a week or two weeks at a time.

In October, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Seeing three different doctors, I could barely make the co-pays. I also have an anticancer drug. I don’t know if they’ll pay.

An adult can get no dental care with a medical card. Is anyone aware of the medical problems that stem from bad teeth? Cardiovascular disease and many others, which could lead to a hospital visit, or are we just going to allow people to die?

In January, regulations changed with limits to four prescriptions a month. Anything more than four a month, you need special pre-approval.

In my experience, you might get approved for a month or so then have to go through the process again, or they deny it and recommend a different drug. I have had a doctor refuse to mess with it.

Are they qualified to tell your doctor what is best for you?

My pharmacy has been very helpful and, when they try to call and get approvals, they either get put on hold or told to call back resulting in a three- to four-day wait to be denied.

I know this state and country is in debt, but are we willing to lose lives?

In my case, these are life-or death-needs. This is not Botox or facelifts. I could understand denying those.

I just today was told recently my cholesterol medication was denied. High cholesterol and diabetes go hand in hand.

Cheryl Baird resides in Georgetown.