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In Your Corner: Senior stuck paying for health insurance he can’t use

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UPDATE 5/1/15:  James Farmer’s social security check fattened up since we last saw him.

I got the money in my bank a little over a week ago finally.”

You’ll remember, James, a Medicare customer, was paying for double the health insurance.

When he moved to Oklahoma he didn’t qualify for his old plan any more, so he was forced to switch insurance companies.

The old plan was canceled, yet the government continued to withdrawal about $200 from his social security check each month.

He was counting on that cash to help pay his bills.

It was hard to make the ends meet,” he said. “That’s what I would probably spend on groceries for a month.”

James was owed about $1200 dollars.

We’re happy to share our calls and emails worked!

James was reimbursed with two payments in full!

I was at my end there,” he said. “I didn’t know where else to go.”

 

EL RENO, OKLA. – James Farmer doesn’t get around like he used to.

He has nerve damage throughout his body.

“I’ve got so much stress now with the surgeries I have to get done,” he said.

Something else though keeps giving him fits.

He’s being charged for health insurance he’s not eligible to receive.

“It’s just totally aggravating,” he said.

You see late last year James moved from Colorado to Oklahoma to be closer to family.

He’s still a Medicare customer, but was forced to switch insurance companies because his old insurance through Rocky Mountain Health Plans and Wellcare Health Plans isn’t available here.

The old plans were discontinued, yet Medicare keeps taking out over $200 from James’ Social Security check each month.

“I called both of the insurances and they’re the ones that do it,” James said. “They sent a letter to Medicare to stop taking the money out.”

Rocky Mountain Health claims they notified Medicare about James’ address change and Medicare “confirmed James’ disenrollment.”

The monthly withdrawals didn’t stop.

Now James says he’s owed 6 months of reimbursement, about $1200.

He tried pleading his case dozens of times over the phone and in-person at the Social Security office.

James said, “I was just getting nowhere with them.”

The In Your Corner team went to bat for James.

We called and emailed the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Rocky Mountain Health and Wellcare Health.

Because of privacy laws they won’t tell us much, but assure us their case workers are actively seeking out a fix to the problem. 

Things are already looking up for James.

He received a partial reimbursement and we’re hopeful more money is headed his way.

The Oklahoma State Insurance Department provides counseling and assistance for seniors enrolled in Medicare. Senior Help Line