I'm scared to death of the new Health Insurance mandate passed by the state legislature and ballyhoed by our jerk of a governor, Mitt Romney. For those not in the loop, MA residents are going to be required to have health insurance coverage. There isn't a choice, it's a mandate. If you are under the poverty level, you can get Mass Health for free. Since nobody could possibly live in MA under the poverty level, that means pretty much everyone is going to be required to be covered at work or to purchase MassHealth for themselves.
Now I know most people outside of MA see this as a step towards universal health care and consider it a positive step. However, this program has serious flaws, especially if you're not financially able to pay for your own health care. Small employers must put a tiny amount towards health coverage, but the basic responsibility is on you, the user. If you have free care from a hospital now, you're going to lose that excellent coverage and will have to get half assed MassHealth coverage instead. If you're living paycheck to paycheck because you pay a ridiculous rent or mortgage, adding several hundred dollars a month to your budget has just become mandates without any additional funds coming to you. Aren't you lucky?
Why does this matter? Because MassHealth refuses to cover a huge variety of items, mostly prescriptions. So not only do you lose good care that covers pretty much everything if you have had free care, you are now required to pay high prices for crappy care and to fight for every prescription your doctor orders for you.
I'm not talking about weird medications. I'm talking about pretty much EVERY allergy medication, many asthma medications, blood pressure medications, GERD medications, sleep aids, antidepressants, cholesterol medications, and birth control pills. Yup, the state gets to tell you what kind of birth control you can use, and they will not pay for other prescriptions ordered by your doctor, even if the bc pills they do cover don't work for you.
Today I took the Girl to see a specialist at Children's Hospital. After the examination, the doctor wrote two prescriptions for her, and she wrote extremely detailed directions for the labeling, just because she has had such trouble with MassHealth. Off we went to CVS to fill the prescriptions. MassHealth denied them both. Not just one, both. Now we have to have the doctor file an appeal, and the thing will take at least a month to solve. The doctor wouldn't have written the prescriptions if she didn't think the Girl needed the medications, and yet the state's mandated formulary is so bad that we couldn't get either of the meds she needs.
Aren't you all looking forward to dealing with this agency? You'll just love them. One month, back when I had MassHealth, I had to appeal 7 different medications because they changed their formulary without any patient notification, and when I went to refill my scripts, they were no longer covered. This meant contacting 3 different doctors to have them write appeal letters to MassHealth and then waiting impatiently for almost 2 months for the appeals to be decided. While I didn't have my medications my doctor scrounged up free samples for me to use.
This isn't health care coverage, it's a sham program that denies, denies, denies. Aren't the people of MA fortunate to have such groovy coverage? Um, I'm pretty worried myself. Stumble It! JBlog Me