My biggest challenge is with obtaining proper medical care and the expense of buying health insurance here in New York. Because I’m over the New York state income limit by $2, I was denied medical and food stamp services. I was also denied for housing assistance — over two whole dollars.
On Getting Help
I went and asked for assistance on how to fill out the application and was told by the intake officer that I would need to get online and ask someone to help fill it out. There was noone available to assist me with the application process. I then called Hudson Valley Community Services, which is a whole other story in itself. I first did my intake with the agency at the latter part of October. I will receive case management services as of next week. One of the most frustrating parts of trying to get assistance in New York is the lack of empathy, and lack of common courtesy in returning one’s phone call. I reached out to this agency for over two months. Finally, I had to inform them that I was going to report them to the Department of Health and Human Services for the lack of services that they were providing. The excuse was they were short staffed. After the initial intake, I did not hear anything from the Hudson Valley Community Services. I left messages requesting to speak to a supervisor several times to help me expedite my case. Finally, a supervisor called me and I was informed that I would have a case manager.
Don’t Get Me Started on Medicare
I am being double charged by Medicare. As an employee for various organizations, we were mandated to pay Medicare tax. I paid and now I’m having to pay again. Why?
The Real Shocker
The biggest surprise I’ve had is living this long because I abused myself with cocaine for so many years and refused to take medication.
Dealing With Resistance
On several occasions, I have experienced medication resistance and had to switch meds because the others did not work. Now I am on five different types of medication.
Other Comorbidities and Healthcare
I have absent seizures. My copay is $75 and my monthly deduction is $150 to receive proper treatment with my neurologist and primary care physician. I would love to find resources to help me with healthcare expenses. I would appreciate if New York, as well as other states, would take into consideration that we — as working class individuals — have contributed to the tax base and when we are in need, we are ignored, denied, or discouraged from obtaining basic human services like food, shelter, and proper medical care. We shouldn’t have to be gouged by insurance companies. I was a mental health worker for 30 years for the state of New York and the federal government, as well as the private sector. When [newcomers]… have more access to public services than I do, when I’ve contributed to the pot for 30 years, it is not OK.
Read more from our Long-Term Survivor series here.