(picture credit: linkedin.com)
Today I am not going to be a font of information about Medicaid because yesterday was my day to go to personal therapy and on those days, I am generally completely useless to do anything else but process the session. Today, however, I will be diving into it some more to see what awaits Thomas and I.
As I said yesterday, Thomas's biological father has been working closely with me to try to get Thomas on "TRICARE For Life", something offered to military dependent family members with a permanent disability. It seems, however, that isn't going to go through for a myriad of reasons, some of which I don't want to write about here for legal reasons. I did ask my ex, though, if there was any way we could "throw ourselves on the mercy of the court" and plead our case for Thomas without having to go through some of the requirements for approval for TRICARE For Life. Sadly, the answer came back that it was at the discretion of the United States Marine Corps to decide individual needs for this type of care. So, somewhere in my mind, I picture a bunch of highfalutin, dressed in their "dress blues" uniforms, men pouring over Thomas's case and pondering whether or not to approve it. I doubt that's how it works but it paints quite a picture.
What my ex did send me, however, was information on a policy extension by TRICARE called "TRICARE Young Adult" which is a policy that a young adult can purchase for a monthly premium that will extend current coverage until age 26. I like the sound of that...keeping his current coverage, that is. At any rate, the monthly cost of the policy Thomas would qualify for is $180/month which in the scheme of things isn't too bad but would cut into Thomas's SSI payment (that just dropped to $515/mo.) quite a bit making it even harder for Thomas to financially reach the independence he so desperately wants right now. Unfortunately, as his mom, I'm placing good mental health care and coverage far above any prospect of Thomas moving out. He's suffering from fluctuating symptoms lately and I'm not particularly excited about booting him out of the nest at the moment.
As for the TRICARE Young Adult policy, that is something that I will need to research further today because when I scanned over the information yesterday there were a few things that caught my eye and make me question if this policy is going to work. There was some mention of Medicaid which left me with the impression that Thomas couldn't purchase this policy because he's already on Medicaid but I could be, and I hope I am, wrong about that. The other thing that caught my eye was something about a discount on the premium depending on the purchaser's financial status. Well, if that's the case, Thomas would more than qualify since he literally has $25 in his personal checking account and his SSI was just cut back quite a bit and there are some medical/dental bills still yet to be paid. He, also, only works one day a week for an average of 4 hours in a shift so he doesn't have a lot of earning potential either.
Apart from the TRICARE Young Adult research that I want to do today, I also want to call Idaho Health and Welfare which has some hand in Medicaid and I want to call Medicaid itself, if need be, for more answers. There is so much to worry about as Thomas's TRICARE drops off on Sunday. During my recent research on Medicaid for Idaho, I did a provider search looking, hopefully, for Dr. N. (Thomas's psychiatrist that manages his meds) to be on the list and lo' and behold, of course he's not on the list of participating providers so already Thomas is going to have to say goodbye to Dr. N. who has done a wonderful job managing Thomas's meds. This will be a hard loss for Thomas emotionally and it'll be hard for me because of what I know that waits in the wings once we lose Dr. N.
In doing my provider search, I discovered that there are very few people in our area that do take Medicaid one of which is affiliated with the local hospital and psych ward and Dr. K. and my own therapist informed me that they are COMPLETELY UNRELIABLE and will call and cancel appointments at the last minute, that the office has a revolving door through which old providers run screaming out of because the management is so terrible and then unsuspecting new med managers come in until they, of course, run screaming out of there too. Oh yes, and there is a waiting list which makes me wonder how Thomas will get his clozaril approved each month while we wait for a provider to become available. None of this gives me much hope for finding the level of care I am used to for Thomas.
That little bit of information and the accompanying hard truth it reveals is enough to make me want to hide under my covers and not engage in life. Alas, there is no hiding from any of this, no matter how much I wish I could. Thomas's mental health, and more importantly his stability, is at stake here and weighing that against pulling the blankets over my head and ignoring the truth is no contest. My boy deserves every ounce of resolve I can muster for him.
There is no hiding from schizophrenia.
And there is no way I am going to abandon Thomas.