Full disclosure – this is going to be gross. Also, I have permission to share this with you.
Yesterday a very nice man sat at my desk and cried. Tears were mixed with blood. BLOOD! Dripping from his eye where his tear duct used to be – but now a three-headed cancerous nodule sat growing across his face – was blood.
Doesn’t he have health insurance? Why yes, yes he has Medi-cal which is California’s version of Medicade.
But, he did not know which insurance card is the current card, did not know who his doctor is, and he can not walk into the emergency room again because apparently they do know which card is correct and have told him that it is all “charged out” for the month. Then they told him to go to his primary doctor – but no one seemed to know who that was.
So here he sat. Unable to go to accept his job offer because he is a walking biohazard, this man sat mired in poverty with no easily solvable way out. How would he get the Cancer treated and removed – or at least placed in a non weeping state if the good folks at Olive View in Sylmar could not do it? They did take biopsies months ago, but he does not know what they plan to do with the information since the results have not been shared with him.
—- Hi, my name is Sonya and I am a social worker in the GAIN program. My job is to help others prepare for and find employment. —-
Clearly fixing the river of blood now dripping on my desk was necessary as preparing him for employment. I have a college degree and over 15 years of experience – and it still took me 45 minutes to find out who his doctor was and another 30 minutes to change the physician to a health care provider closer to him – (read in the same county). I called the DPSS Cash Aid office, MEND Medical Clinic – Meet Each Need with Dignity, I called 211, and I called every number on the cards.
So here is the answer on how to do this. Call this number:
(800)430-4260 for Health Care Options. Know your address , and your birthday, and have any and all cards in front of you. You will be reading account numbers over the phone.
They were able to tell me which card is current and if there were sub-plans. They were able to tell me who his doctor was and how to get ahold of the parent company for his insurance to transfer his case to someone more local. His provider was in Santa Ana in ORange County. We only moved his doctor – his wife and child will have to call to move the rest of the family to another provider.
The change is effective immediately – he has a new location and physician and after the first of the month new charges to his health insurance can be made. I am sincerely hoping the doctor gathers the biopsy results and other tests from Olive View (so no one is paying for these twice – and it could be faster) and fixes this dudes face.
He wants to work. I want him to work. He is desperate to be self-sufficient and financially supporting of his family and this is the biggest obstacle.
He offered to let me take a picture of his face and eye. You can thank me for declining.