Thursday, July 21, 2011

Medicaid Covers Diapers, Still Great News Worth Sharing!

MedicaidCovers Diapers!  As well as programs which mirror Medicaid such as Title XXI which currently serves Riley for children who qualify.  Yes, some of you are saying to yourselves, "this is old news, where have you been?"  Some others are wondering  if I have lost my mind, because battles have gone on for years over diapers and not gotten anywhere.  Finally, in 2010 the complaintants started to win!

Effective September 1st, 2010, Florida Medicaid has begun covering disposable incontinence diapers for children ages four (4) through twenty (20). While we finalize the promulgation of the coverage and limitations criteria for these products through the Durable Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies Coverage and Limitations Handbook, please open and reference the Policy Criteria for Disposable Incontinence Briefs, Diapers, Protective Underwear, Pull-Ons, Liners, Shields, Guards, Pads, Undergarments"

Why, you ask do I mention this now?

Well, I'm glad you ask!

Diapers.  Perhaps as a parent of typically developing child you bemoaned the cost of diapers.  Imagine a lifetime of purchasing those diapers in an ever increasing size and amount.  For my family, just a year ago, it was becoming impossible to meet the monetary demand and even just having  the great supply needed on hand.  It was one of the many expenses of having a special needs child that could not be brought under control.

This past week I discovered just how easily special needs families may be left out of the loop.  First of all, If your special needs child is older than three years old, you are already well schooled in the fact that Medicaid flatly has refused to cover diapers and supplies for years despite continuing court cases leveled at the organization.  When finally, Medicaid was defeated in court, they did not go to all their consumers and invite them to purchase diapers on them.  I had opportunity to spend an afternoon with another special needs mom.  In conversation, she mentioned her stress about diapers and needing more.  I let the mention pass the first time thinking she was recalling the financial stress of diapers from last year at this time.  The conversation returned again to diapers.  Yes, diapers is a popular subject among the special needs caregivers... little wonder.  The next time we spoke of diapers I did say something about the relief she must have not that Medicaid covers diapers, knowing her son had the coverage.  The look on her face stated clearly that I had lost my mind, everyone knows and has always known that Medicaid will not cover diapers.  Yes, I told her, it does now.  Immediately, we pulled up a medical supply company and made a request.  By the end of the day, 200 diapers were to be shipped out to her front door courtesy of Medicaid.  I do believe she was close to tears for the sheer emotion of this change by the time I left her.

Special needs families are so easily isolated.  They do not sign up and involve themselves more than necessary.   It takes all of their energy to simply get through the day.  This describes my family as well.  So, I asked myself, how did I know about and take advantage of this incredible news?  Then I remembered.  Riley's PIC social worker had made the announcement to us and I took advantage of it that very day.  I do believe my response was a wild dance in the middle of my living room.  Now I hoard diapers everywhere, when our entire supply is not used in one months' time, I hide it for later.  Our country's budget problems is something I am keenly aware of and I am not going to be suddenly caught without diapers if I can help it.   How fortunate we are to have an organization looking out for our interests.   

The stash beneath Riley's hospital bed.

How unfortunate it never occurred to me to share this amazing news one year ago.  So, who cares if you sound foolish, it is so easy for special needs families to miss important news: Go tell everyone you know that "Medicaid Covers Diapers!"  Someone out there is going to be indebted to you for this little statement and very great news.

Please go out and share the news.

We are all special... by Stacie Wiesenbaugh


Rebekah A. said...

I almost did cry. I was so overwhelmed with joy when you told me that, I could hardly contain myself. I am so relieved! The financial pressure was so much, I try to make them last as long as possible. Thanks again for sharing the news!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I just started researching this last night. No one ever volunteers any information. That is what makes this journey so frustrating. I rarely have time to research myself. And my husband is so busy with work and consumed with overseeing Clarks litigation. I was actually trying to find out if Medicaid would cover a nutrition drink that is for swallowing difficulties. A nurse in the hospital where Clark was last at said Medicaid would provide it. Still can't find an answer since the end of June. no one seems to know anything. I would love to be able to help others one day find answers, get equipment, learn about grants and so forth.

Stacie said...

I agree. No one volunteers information and when you do have it - it's likely to change. I suspect that some may manage to have a nutrition supplement covered but I haven't gotten it. Does Clark see a GI with a dietician in the office? Maybe you'll have some luck with a script there. Feel free to share if you get some answers:-) Stacie