Why I impoverished my son – How our Healthcare System turns disabled people into paupers

There are supports in our healthcare system for people with disabilities, but these programs are also traps that drive our disabled towards poverty.

It is August and I must re certify again that my 6-year old son, Geoffrey, is destitute and that our family doesn’t make too much money. It will be easier this year as I emptied his child’s savings account late last year.

Why, you might ask?

Every year, we need to do three things to keep our son’s access to MediCal insurance to help cover his health services for autism active:

1. We need to prove (every year), that he still has autism to our California’s disability system (in our case, Golden Gate Regional Center) and that he is using some of there services… this one is coming in late September.

2. We need to do that to keep his healthcare referral for autism to California’s Medi-Cal program (California’s version of Medicaid). We re-certify his autism diagnosis with Medi-Cal every year in January or February.

3. And, now, each year, in August we prove once again, that Geoffrey is sufficiently poor (and we aren’t too wealthy) to qualify for Medi-Cal. This is less of a crisis, but critical in for the long term for him.

Why did we make sure our son is broke?

Why go through this … every year?

Well, I have a question for you – do you know what your “out of pocket maximum” is for your health insurance?

I’m your host, Steven Davis and welcome to Episode 6 of Disability Democracy Radio. This weekly podcast is about practical actions we can take – that YOU can take – to make a difference in your community. The goal of Disability Democracy Radio is to accelerate the disability community revolution. Find out more at disabilitydemocracy.org.

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