MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) – A Morristown woman who is diabetic has been fighting to get her TennCare benefits reinstated for the last year. TennCare responded two months ago saying they had made a mistake in her case. They now say she does qualify for benefits under Medicare.
Brenda Littlecloud says the last year has been difficult since TennCare dropped her health insurance. The state said she and her husband make too much money. Both are disabled and they live in low-income housing. She worries about her low supply of insulin.
Brenda Littlecloud is a severe diabetic. They have enough syringes to last through the end of June. With a limited income, Brenda Littlecloud received health insurance from TennCare until last year. Now, the out-of-pocket deductible expenses to buy insulin stretches the couple’s budget.
She was told a year ago her TennCare coverage would be cut.
“They took my income that I get separately from [my husband’s] income and they combined both incomes and told us we made five dollars over the limit,” she said.
“Here is the thing, she’s the only one on the policy. I have my own policy,” said her husband Billy Littlecloud.
Brenda Littlecloud says she depends on medication to maintain her blood glucose level. She says without TennCare, her out-of-pocket deductible has nearly tripled.
Believing there had been a mistake, the couple made several appeals made to TennCare.
“Then here recently we just got this letter and it states,they went back and checked and they did make a mistake,” Brenda Littlecloud said.
The letter sent April 22 says because “you think TennCare made a mistake,” we “agree with you.” It also says they are processing her application for TennCare benefits.
“It never come and was never processed. And I still don’t have it,” she said.
n response to WATE 6 On Your Side’s inquiry, TennCare writes: “Mrs. Littlecloud was sent a routine annual benefits renewal package last year. Based on the information provided, she was no longer eligible due to being over income. She appealed but did not provide the state with enough information to change the outcome or her eligibility.”
The email goes on to say: “In March of 2019, Mrs. Littlecloud filed another TennCare application. But ten days later filed an appeal and did not give enough time for the application to process.”
The letter concludes that a TennCare employee made an error in a delayed decision over her eligibility.
However, TennCare has informed Brenda Littlecloud because her income is under the poverty level, she qualifies for QMB benefits which means TennCare will pay her Medicare bill of $135.
“I want my card. I qualified for it. They agree that I qualify for it,” she said.
She did receive her QMB card and will be able to resupply her insulin soon.
Also on July 1, Brenda Littlecloud will be eligible for Medicare because she turns 65 later in July. She is pleased everything is straightened out because next month she has appointments with her regular doctor and a dentist.
QMB helps pay Medicare Part A premiums as well as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.