Last Friday my Mom called me, practically in tears.
“Roberta was so mean to me,” she said.
I’m thinking, “who the hell is Roberta?”.
“She’s from my medical insurance carrier. I called to ask her why a bill wasn’t paid and she said I should never have been given this insurance and I’m going to have to pay back every penny from the last 15 years.”
“And,” she went on with a worried tone, “you told me to NEVER pay a medical bill. So I don’t know what to do.”
“Calm down, Mom. We will get this worked out. It will be okay.”
My first reaction was this:
I did tell my Mom never t pay a medical bill because her insurance covers everything.
My mom has Tricare For Life Medical Insurance. This insurance is for Veterans and their families, spouses, widows, children. My Dad died in a helicopter crash as an Army pilot on October 10, 1961. My mother had five children all under the age of 10 and was pregnant with her sixth child. So I kind of think my Mom is entitled to this insurance.
The thing is, Mom never claimed this insurance until my step-father passed away in 1998. She didn’t even ask for it. She already had Medicare and AARP. But when she applied for her widows benefits after my step-father passed away, the Veteran’s Administration made her jump through all kinds of hoops with documentation and then gave her this insurance.
My mom is a Virgo.
Why does that matter? She has kept every single piece of paper that has ever come into her life. So she has every piece of documentation that transpired fifteen years ago with the Veteran’s Administration. She sent them her marriage certificate to my step-father and his death certificate.
Then, they put her on the wrong insurance.
And now they are threatening an 87 year-old widow, who raised her family of six children without a father, who never even made it to 30 years old.
After talking to seven different people at seven different government administrative places which most people never even heard of, we refiled all the documentation from 15 years ago.
Now we wait.
I know from the last 25 years of caregiving and jumping through administrative hoops that this story will not have an easy ending. There’s going to be reams of paperwork. There will likely be boatloads of nastiness. There may be a lawsuit. But in my best, Scarlett O’Hara voice: “As God is my witness….my mother will never pay one dime to fix this problem.”
It helps that I’m a lawyer.
I know you don’t think there could possibly be a laugh in here in any way. But as I was looking at some of the documents from her insurance company, I saw this:
“You Just have to Laugh…..”
©2016 Cathy Sikorski