Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Nov 21

The State Is Super Efficient

I qualify for some state-covered services, including basic family planning (birth control, yearly PAPs, STD screening). Once a year I need to renew my application. This process entails me getting lots of letter:

  • A letter telling me the renewal is coming up
  • A letter with an application I have to send back with my updated information
  • A letter instructing me of the date for my phone interview
  • A letter telling me my benefits will end if I don’t return my paper application and answer the phone call
  • A booklet and letter informing me of my benefits (I get the same one every year, and they’ve already sent me one this year!)
  • A letter information me that I will soon receive this previous letter
  • A letter reminding me of my phone interview

Snail Mail

Piles and piles o’ mail

In the past two days, I’ve received three separate mailings. All of them stated they were sent on the 18th, the day of my phone interview, which I answered and finished in less than ten minutes. The first one said that if I didn’t make that interview, my benefits would end on December 1st. Um, how is a letter you “sent” on the day of my interview supposed to help me make my phone call? Plus, there’s no way that letter could have been sent on that day and made it here the very next day. You, my friends, are not Doc Brown.

Especially when two other letters, also with the same date, didn’t arrive until yesterday. That’s actually possible, but one of them was essentially a you-don’t-have-to-do-anything-but-don’t-forget-this-phone-call reminder. Which I think I got the point of when you sent me the first letter with the date and time less than a week ago.

I’m annoyed. Perturbed, really. Not only is it inconvenient for me to have to deal with all this mail. It’s confusing. The one letter arrived after my phone interview informing me that my benefits were ending if I didn’t participate in said interview. They’re obviously post-dating some stuff, which only makes it worse.

However, I will have received !seven! 7 seh-veeeennnnnnn different mailings in less than a month about this. The only ones I really need are the ones containing the application for me to return, the one instructing me of the phone interview time and one informing me of any changes. Hell, they can even throw the stupid booklet in there because, while I don’t need it, I’m sure they’re required to do so. That’s still half the freakin’ mail that I got.

And they wonder why we’re in debt.

Governor Walker, have you considered ending the mass murder of trees to save money? Maybe the money saved can go toward education or, you know, expanding state Medicaid. Oh, wait. Hahaha. Walker’s a douche canoe who rejected federal money to get that going. My bad.

This isn’t related to the governor at all, but I figured if I was bitching about “the man,” I’d add the most terrible “man” to the list.


9 comments on “The State Is Super Efficient”

  1. Yay for inefficient processes! Pennsylvania is similar. A prime example of their latest fuck-up: in September I was notified that our health insurance benefits (mine & Dan’s; Alyssa is covered by CHIP and Ryan’s autism diagnosis gives him a lifetime pass to state-funded insurance) would be terminated as of October 21st, but I could appeal the decision. An appeal would mean a telephone interview, of which I would be notified via telephone. In the meantime, by appealing, our health insurance benefits would continue.

    So imagine my surprise when I had to cancel my 11/08 flu shot appointment AND a ulcer check-up appointment due to my insurance benefits being terminated on the 31st. I didn’t get the chance to call the benefits office and be all, “WTF? I thought that by appealing — which I would have done regardless of the benefits being terminated because financially we DO qualify for this assistance — our benefits would stay active” or wonder about that telephone interview, because a couple of days later insurance renewal paperwork arrived.

    In our case, your guess is good as mine. I’m hoping that maybe our caseworker is sympathetic to our situation — we qualified for benefits last February after my non-insured emergency surgery racked up $35k in medical bills — and is canceling the typical cancellation/appeal process and is just giving us the straightforward renewal?

    Gah. I hope you’re able to keep your benefits and take care of everything without a confused mess of paperwork and phone calls and changing deadlines and such.

    I can only imagine the tens of thousands of dollars each state would save each year if they made the benefits process more automated and less retarded…

  2. Oh, I’m not worried. I’m sure it’s just an issue of it not being efficient and the fact that the 18th was the first business day after their money fiscal thingy closed. I’m annoyed, not worried. But, ugh.

  3. When my food stamps are up for renewal I get like 3 letters at least every time. One saying I’ll be getting a letter in a few days. Another giving information about what benefits I have etc and the third is the actual renewal form. Why not skip the first completely and send the others together?! Every time I get them I always think “what a waste of paper. You guys could save so much money if you weren’t retarded”

  4. Iowa is just as stupid – I got a letter telling me I would get another letter that would tell me if I qualified for the state-run insurance. I got the second letter which said I qualified and that I’d get yet a 3rd letter telling me what insurance plan I’d been placed on and when I could expect my insurance cards.

    Really? You can’t just send ONE letter?

  5. I’m pretty sure I even bitched about this last year

  6. Hah. Maybe they needed to give people jobs so they decided folding and sealing envelopes for massive amounts of unnecessary mail was the solution!
    The government’s not very well known for its efficiency, though.

  7. You’re totally right. They’re not known for being awesome but this? Is a wee bit ridiculous.

  8. A

    I didn’t get any of that. Once Oct 1st rolled around, I went to our Govt Assistance website and signed up for Medicaid. I qualify for it since I don’t make enough money and my state was one of the ones to decide that “yes, lower income peoples that are in that middle ground need to finally be able to have medical insurance.” A few weeks later, I got a call and letter from that department requesting my ID and proof of income and a few weeks later, I got a letter saying that as of of Jan 2014, I will be covered. Can’t wait… I missed my 100% covered medical and helps me huge until I can eventually afford “middle/higher income” insurance. In the mean time, I had all of my doctors write me enough prescriptions to last me until Jan and get them all at very discounted prices using

    Happy Holidays, Cole <3

  9. Oh, my state’s resistance to expanding Medicaid has been SO frustrating. It’s an entirely separate rant.

    Happy holidays to you, too!

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