Although my caregiving duties have changed some, I still, like many a dutiful daughter have to deal with issues of the elderly.
As I warned you a few weeks ago, my Mom is steeped in a battle with the Veterans Administration. They reneged on her insurance about a month ago. This insurance is for widows of Veterans. My mother was placed on this policy 15 years ago. She’s used it for all her health needs since then, until that fateful day when they discovered their error. For points of clarity, my Mom was put on Insurance Plan A and should have been placed on Insurance Plan B.
As you can imagine, in the world of government bureaucracy, this is no easy fix. Nobody knows what to do or how to repair this problem.
What they do know how to do is create all kinds of havoc that sends little old 87 year-old ladies into shock and apoplexy.
They have begun to take back all their insurance payments over the last year or so, thereby causing my mother to receive bills from all her medical providers day after day after day. You may not know this about the elder generation, but if they get a bill, they pay it. Case closed. Even though these bills will eventually be paid by Insurance B, this generation can not abide being beholden to anyone, especially their doctor.
After yet another three and a half hours on the phone with fwo divisions of the Veterans Administration…Insurance A and Insurance B customer service, and DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility System) a department from the Department of Defense, I had my Mom actually hear a customer service rep tell her not to pay any bills until this is resolved.
The first guy was named Kirk. He asked me if I had spoken to him three days ago. I assured him I had not since I was out of the country.
“Hmm” he said, because I ‘m sure I had a call from some lady about this same problem, which I never heard of until this week.I guess Insurance A is running a review of all their insureds to see who is on the wrong program…hahahha..”
Yeah. Hilarious.Oh, and by the way, I think my mother may have inadvertently started this shake down of widows from the VA about a month ago.
Person number 2 , after our second 20 minutes on hold, was David. He, too, was flummoxed by this account of our woes and told us that he could only suggest we call DEERS, because It looks like DEERS needs to confirm that my father died on October 10, 1961.
Person number 3. after a very brief 10 minute hold was Bill. Bill was ever so kind. He could see that this was a grand problem. He couldn’t understand why the two insurance companies,under the VA would not accept a death certificate (yes, my amazing, organized- with-every-shred-of-paper-ever-touching-her-fingers-Mom has a death certificate from 1961). Then Bill searched the records and said because the ‘incident’ (meaning my father’s death on active duty) was so long ago they would have to put in a request to …you guessed it….the Veterans Administration, to confirm my Dad’s death.
One more transfer to another department of the VA, with a lovely 20 minute wait to Stuart. It was almost taking as long to explain this journey as it was to be on hold, but explain it I did. And, this is a true story, mind you, while searching the data base of all the information under my Mom’s name and my Dad’s name, I think Stuart thought he put me on hold. Alas, this is what I heard in his exasperated voice:
“What a cluster fuck!”
Yep, I burst out laughing, ’cause well, yeah…indeed.
The journey continues with me filing some documents they’ve asked for, waiting for a confirmation that my Dad has been dead for 55 years to come from the Veteran’s Administration to my Mom, so that we can then send it to the VA insurance.
That’s how it has to be done they tell me. The VA can’t send it the the VA, the widow has to do it. And at least a few more weeks of comedic material for a blog called..
“You Just have to Laugh…..”
©Cathy Sikorski 2016