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PROBLEM SOLVERS: Grandmother raising six grandkids can't get health insurance

Posted: 9:26 AM, Feb 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-05 10:26:06-05

TULSA -- A grandmother raising six grandkids can’t get health insurance. 2 Works for You Problem Solvers went to work for her.

Betty Poppino reached out to the Problem Solvers team after hitting multiple roadblocks when it came to getting SoonerCare. She’s also raising her six grandchildren.

Poppino said, “It’s a struggle. I mean . . . I love my grandkids. I took them because I wanted them to stay together, so they’ll have a good home, a roof over their head . . . But I just needed to make sure I was healthy enough to take care of them.”

But with her own growing health concerns, Poppino was getting worried. She said, “I had been sick for about three or four weeks, just not feeling good, achy.” 

She went to the emergency room and was told she had pneumonia. Much to her surprise, she was also told she had no insurance.

Poppino explained, “I came home and called SoonerCare. They said I wasn’t in compliance with child support. So, I went to the child support agency and did what they needed me to do. The next thing I know, I get a letter that I need to do something with taxes, but I don’t have any income coming in besides my husband‘s disability.”

Still, she was told she had to file a 1095-b form with the IRS. It was one more hurdle in the race toward health care. Doctor bills were piling up.

Defeatedly, Poppino admitted, “I was lost. I didn’t know where to go. It seems like every time I come, it would something else. Finally, I called channel 2 because I didn’t know what else to do.”

So, we went to work for her, making calls to Oklahoma Healthcare Authority, investigating Poppino’s case, figuring out why her insurance is taking so long.

Then, just a few hours later, Betty got a call from OHCA. She said, “They didn’t put in the right code through the child support office. And as far as the IRS paper, I wasn’t working, I had no income, so there was no reason for me to file.”

She was told her insurance would be turned on that day. When asked what this means for her, the grandmother said, “I can make sure that I can go to the doctor and I can take care of me so I can continue to take care of the babies.

She added, “I appreciate channel 2 because if it wasn’t for you guys, it wouldn’t have happened.”

If there’s something you want us to look into, call (918) 748-1502 or email problemsolvers@kjrh.com.

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