7 On Your Side: Not dead yet

Seven On Your Side
January 7, 2013 2:26:55 PM PST
The widower's still shaken, ever since his wife passed away last summer. But he was in for a 2nd shock. On the same day his wife died, the government declared him dead.

It's been more than 5 months since Arnold Ross' wife Flo passed away.

The senior's pain is still so raw that he can't bear to look at old snapshots of the two of them.

"You know I have a hard time looking at the pictures," Ross said.

But after burying his wife of 27 years - the grieving senior was hit with a second unexpected body blow.

"They said I'm deceased. I was dead in their computers," he said.

He's talking about Medicare - his healthcare provider. Ever since his wife died in July, Medicare has declared Arnold dead.

Weeks after his wife's death, Medicare sent Arnold a condolence letter for his own death.

"Look at me, do I look dead?" he said.

On paper, Arnold's been dead since end of July. That's also when Medicare stopped paying his doctor bills. So every time he goes to the mailbox, he's afraid he'll get another doctor bill.

That's a problem for a guy on six daily medications and who regularly sees 5 different doctors for different health problems. Arnold says he's made many calls to Medicare.

"This is going on since August, October, November, now we're into December and nothings been done," he said.

So we made a couple calls to Medicare and in just hours resurrected Mr. Ross and resuscitated his account.

Medicare finally got the problem resolved and started paying all his doctor bills.

Medicare said the initial confusion happened because Arnold and Flo's Medicare numbers were very similar. They apologized for the problem, but couldn't explain why it took so long to get it straightened out.


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