Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Medi Cal Letter

Last week I got a letter from the Department of Health Care Services in Sacramento, California, detailing what services will no longer be provided through Medi Cal. It was dated June, 2009, but I received it July 13th. Very thoughtful of them to send me a letter about cuts to services "Starting July 1st..." two weeks late.

These changes don't affect Queen Teen because she's under 21, but if you're over 21, you can no longer get dental care, speech therapy, podiaty, audiology, chiropractic care, acupuncture, optometry (although ophthalmology is covered), psychological counseling (but psychiatrists and county mental health services are covered), or incontinance creams and washes.

Poor people aren't allowed to have teeth, I see.

There are some exceptions. If you live in a skilled nursing home or are pregnant, you can still go to the dentist and get your eyes checked. Also, if you are part of the Genetically Handicapped Person's program, receive help through county mental health, use Medicare part B, or "receive the services directly from a physician (what does that mean, I wonder)," you get to keep MediCal services.

If it's an emergency you can still get services, so if that tooth abscesses because you couldn't get to a dentist, you can go to the ER for help. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

Surprisingly, people with disabilities, other than genetically handicapped people and the elderly, are included in those who have lost "optional benefits." I was surprised by this. That means if my child was over age 21, she'd lose dental, vision and audiology care. If these cuts continue, that's exactly what will happen in 7 years. Then what?


Princess Abigail said...

Wow, that is so unfair ... so what happens when your budding Queen reaches the age of 21?

Methinks you need come live with the Bernard Bunch in France!

Mother of Chaos said...

You know what's weird? This is now EXACTLY what you get with standard health care. These exclusions are PRECISELY the same stuff the big insurers don't cover, too.

I find that strangely interesting. What is this, some kind of bizarre "well, if nobody gets it, YOU don't get it either" kind of deal? Or is it really "just" a cost-trimming thing, and they're cutting it not because they're imitating mainstream insurers but because they are making the same business decisions said insurers made long, long ago?

Sucks, in any case. :(