The United States lags far behind other industrialized countries in cost and range of health care provided to its citizens. Barack Obama introduced public healthcare options, which though not enough, are at least a start. Very little advertising has a lot of qualifying citizens simply not knowing that they qualify. Public insurance is worth checking out, though they call for much more effort in interviews and documents than private insurance, as one might instantly be covered by through one’s college or parents.

Waiting for a verdict, people are forced to settle for cheap, less effective care. Even with public health insurance, access to care is greatly limited. The main drawback is access to a therapist instead of a clinical psychologist. The latter have gone through at least six years of intensive and formal education, the former might be no more than a nurse.

Two federal healthcare options are available, with variations by state:

  1. Medicaid
  2. Medicare

It’s not immoral to seek and use public health insurance. We all deserve Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And there are many more reasons why…

  • The depth and breadth of information you provide them
    • I had to produce a birth certificate from 1993 by a hospital halfway across the country
    • They want to know everything about you, in official documentation
  • If you own even a meager amount of money, the claim could be denied
    • I had my holdings in a trust
      • How many people don’t have this option?
  • The multiple in-person appointments and evaluations you must go through
    • If you miss as much as as a phone call, the process is delayed for weeks on end
    • Such meetings include
      • Waiting for hours to have a five-minute conversation
      • Driving two hours to make a meeting
  • Essentially all other developed nations have welfare programs that are
    • Much easier to apply for
    • Much easier to get approved for
    • Much more comprehensive
  • The insurance options we have today, are, compared to previous United States health insurances…
    • Severely underfunded
    • Over-complicated
    • Dedicated to refusing claims
    • So difficult to deal with, that there are people whose whole job is to secure coverage for health appointments
  • Much more drastic measures were proposed by powerful leaders in the pax romana (golden age) of ancient Rome
    • Government must provide all its citizens food
    • Land (the best metric of wealth) must be redistributed more evenly
  • America is heavily capitalistic compared to other developed nations. This means that they want business to drive the economy
    • So, as seen below, the country pays its corporate partnersway too much for a healthcare system that is quite paltry

All of this information means one concrete reality: if you don’t meet the ridiculously high standards of public health insurance qualification in the United States, you will not be given in

Immoral? No. The great tragedy of the present is making previously affordable enterprises into a citizen-expensive business. Just as healthcare is largely for-profit , so is private college attendance. Forty years ago, a semester could be paid for by working part-time in the cafeteria.

Anyway, here I’d like offer some of my story, and lessons learned.

I first started treatment in January while covered by college insurance. We sent in the forms for a refund. We heard nothing back until July: a large check in the mail. If you’re insured, keep sending requests in!

Go to a public psychiatrist! They charge what you can afford, and are also careful about side effects. I pay $6.00 per appointment. Private psychiatrists can charge $200.00 or more per visit.

Get a case worker! They help people get help from the government. It may seem unimportant, but it’s not, because they way things are, there’s a lot involved in applying for assistance. I don’t know a lot about the process. This is why it’s very important to get a case worker. Mine was lazy. I should have asked for another.

I had no governmental SSI, food stamps, and the like, when I first went to the psych ward. We were scared that my college money would go to the hospital. We ending up paying a small sum, which is not uncommon. If someone is planning to hurt anyone, have them evaluated. Hospitals will charge you affordably, or even not at all. They are legally obliged to assisst in such situations.

According to the Government, my illness officially began when I was first hospitalized, in Summer 2012…hogwash. I started isolating, and having false beliefs (delusions) and hallucinations, in January 2011, 18 months beforehand. I even relayed all of this information to the mental health professionals whom worked with me…just another excuse to deny coverage for that time period.

But they might argue that…

  • The hospital gave me a different, more severe mental illness, which somehow predominates over the other one
  • The hospitalization was (to the government) at the point during which the bulk of my illness struck
  • There was a lot more official documentation, therefore validity
    • Not quite as bugs are studied under microscopes, but patients in acute care are monitored pretty closely
  • Somehow the information of the psychiatrist I was seeing before I was hospitalized, was not valid

Or any combination of these. But none, and nothing I can think of, would rationalize it. The United States Government will do all it can, in the current healthcare-for-profit environment, to not lend a helping hand. If you or someone you know is ill, and the government suggests that  this person became ill much later than they did, it might be beneficial to spend a few hours in an attempt to provide documentation. That’s one piece of advice I can give: document everything of relevence that you can. Again, assistance should be expected. It’s not unethical or a promotion of degeneracy. I can count on my fingers the rich jerks who drive up in limos to collect their unemployment check.

Here is a basic, rough ven diagram of the two United States public insurance qualifications

It was quick and easy for me, through my father, to be put on Blue Cross Blue Shield, a private insurance.

But public insurance involves much more time and effort. This is why it’s important to get a case worker! Chances are that there is a public mental health institution in your county – one that operates on a sliding scale fee. This institution likely has case workers on its staff, people who make the application process much more straightforward.

Medicaid

Please take a few minutes to visit the Medicaid Eligibility website.

One of the difficulties in applying for Medicaid over Medicare is that since Medicaid is partially funded and overseen on a statewide (as opposed to nationwide) basis, each state determines eligibility requirements. The silver lining on this cloud is that the requirements tend to be quite similar.

The Government “usually” (quoting their word) has 45 days to look over a Medicaid application and hand out a decision. It can take double that amount of time (three months) if the applicant is being evaluated for a disability. Sometimes, it can take as little as 15 days, which is largely state-dependent.

  • This website offers decent guidance on how to fill out a Medicaid application
  • Wikihow has published their own guide for applying to Medicaid

Some people scorn Medicaid, and think that it’s not very helpful. However, it oftentimes covers costs of group homes (over $1000/month), public hospitals (many thousands per week), and public mental health outpatient facilities. Medicaid additionally (in my experience and those of others) payed just about entirely for my medication.

Medicaid also works retroactively. This means that it can cover medical costs incurred before being approved for Medicaid. This can be up to three months. Depending on the state, the retroactive period could begin either on that date that the application was filled out, or the date that the application was recieved.

Another good thing about Medicaid is that if one has Medicaid, they automatically qualify for food stamps (EBT); one is issued a card with their name on it. To activate the card, one must call the number on the back of it. Once done, the cardholder creates a PIN (a four-digit number). Then it’s easy. Check out the Supplemental Nutrition Assisstance Program (SNAP).

So long as ‘unprepared” human food is in the checkout lane, you…

  1. Have your items scanned
  2. Tap EBT food (not cash) on the checkout monitor
  3. Swipe your EBT card as you would a credit card
  4. Input your four-digit PIN
  5. After a few seconds, if the monitor reads “approved”, you’re all set!

If there’s something you wanted to buy that EBT doesn’t cover then “oh no, it’s the end of the world”. Just kidding. That was a joke. Just give it to the cashier. I myself was pretty scared and self-conscious the first few times I used my card.

And to know how much money you have on the card, call the designated number on the back of the card, input some information, and it will tell you “cash balance”, and “SNAP balance”. Cash is for whatever you want (I don’t think I ever got cash on my card). SNAP is for food.

EBT cards vary. Mine looks something like this:

Here’s a brief little ruleguide, do’s and dont’s

And yet with EBT funds, I was able to buy pre-prepared sushi, various sandwiches, and staore-made cookies, at Wegmans.

The official Medicaid website lists some other notable benefits than housing and hospitalization and outpatient care, including:

  • Transportation to health appointments
  • Helping people quit smoking
  • Dental visits
  • Physical/occupational therapy
  • Glasses
  • And more!

Medicare

If you’re over 65, you’re in

Categories included on the official Medicare website

  • Plans
  • Costs
  • Coverage in general
  • Medication coverage
  • Supplements/other insurances
  • Claims/appeals
  • Self-health management tools
  • Information regarding other services and help with questions and navigation

Medicare is a more comprehensive insurance, ironically simple to grasp (compared to Medicaid) in that it’s run by only the Federal Government. This page provides some insight into eligibility. Here we have the Government’s Medicare eligibility website. Finally, here is the Government’s Medicare service center website.

Medicare, about two years.

So the below image goes through some differences between how Medicare and Medicaid are administered.

For Medicaid, Medicare, or both,,,

  1. I couldn’t live at Mom’s house
  2. I had to have worked a certain amount before becoming ill
  3. I had to be interviewed a lot (over the phone and in person at several different offices)
  4. I had to make several appointments, some far from my town, some requiring waitong a long time for a short appointment
  5. I had to provide extensive documentation, including, but not limited to, my birth certificate, photo identification, where I lived, how long I worked, and when I became sick

It’s a lengthy, involved, sometimes frustrating process, but overall, worth it for many people.

Sources: Ron Schoneman, Ben Komor, Leo Tohill, Jon Kloppel, Cayuga Medical Center, Patricia Dutt, The Jenkins Center, www.medicaid.gov