We’re *this* close to having insurance for Cordy and Mira. Since Aaron lost his job, we knew it was a possibility we’d run out of insurance before he could find a new one. At first, we hoped that something would appear before the end of July – how naive we were. That whole plan to bring jobs to Ohio isn’t exactly working as quickly as we’d like.
At the end of July, we realized there was no immediate job offer coming, so we applied for state assistance for health insurance for the kids. The SCHIP program has helped so many people, and while I’ve always been a supporter, I never imagined we’d have to take advantage of it. With only our freelance income, we easily qualify for it. The paperwork was submitted, all documentation was submitted and approved, and everything should be in place for my two young daughters to have health insurance to protect them if anything would happen.
I said should be in place, because as of yet it isn’t. We still have one obstacle in our way:
Our case worker.
Now, I have never bought into the stereotype of the lazy government worker. Especially since my husband was just recently a government worker, and would have been fired quickly for poor customer service in his agency. I had the belief that people who worked in government jobs did so because of their desire to help others and make a difference.
Yeah, I know. You can really stop laughing now.
Our case worker has so far been slow and unable to keep his word. Everything was submitted and in order as of the beginning of August for their health insurance. There was some question as to if we might qualify for additional help, so he said he would be in touch with us either the next Monday, or if not then, the Monday morning after that for sure. (He was going on vacation after the first Monday.)
We waited but there was no call the first Monday. We knew it was a possibility, so we crossed our fingers and hoped no one got sick that week. The second Monday morning, there was no call. By late afternoon, Aaron called the agency, and was told they would give him the message that he called, and his case worker would respond within 24 hours.
Somehow I expected a call within 24 hours. But there was no call on Tuesday. On Wednesday afternoon, nearly 2 days after Aaron called, the case worker called back, telling us he didn’t have a chance to do anything yet, but would have everything finalized by the next day. We were told he would call us back “tomorrow before 1pm.” (Thursday)
You can probably guess what happened next. There was no call on Thursday. Or Friday.
So yesterday Aaron called again first thing in the morning, and was again informed that his case worker would be back in touch within 24 hours. No call. He called again today, got the same message.
At this point, it’s been nearly a month since our children were approved for health insurance, but so far no confirmation has been made to get them enrolled.
I’m only glad this guy is dealing with Aaron and not me. I consider myself a patient person, but not where my children’s health is concerned. I’m feeling very mama bear right now, and I would likely have some choice words for him about doing what you say you will do and how damn hard is it to make a 5 minute phone call, asshole? This is about health coverage for kids!
When I worked as a student advisor, there were days when I was busy and had several phone messages waiting for me. If I wasn’t in the office the next day (I worked part-time) I’d stay the extra 5-10 minutes it took to make sure I got back to everyone, even if it was just to acknowledge their call and let them know I was looking into their question and when to expect a response.
I’d be more OK with this situation if there was a hold-up somewhere and he could take the time to let us know what the delay is. Instead, we’re left calling daily with no return call or information about when or if our girls will have health insurance. How can an agency that is dedicated to helping families in a time of need be so far off it’s goal? It seems that when it comes to Family Services in Ohio, customer service is dead.
The one upside to share with you is that Aaron had an interview last week that went very well. He was called back the next day (see? some places can call back!) and has a second interview tomorrow. If this goes well, he might be employed as early as mid-September, and insurance would be back in October. And then hopefully I can put this not-quite-nightmare, more-like-a-bad-dream of a summer behind me.