Easter Mitchell had a stroke a couple of years ago and is eligible for help under Medicaid and Medicare. As a dual eligible, her plan was suppose to automatically roll over, but she says, "I just was scared really, because it's not the same without my medicine ."
She was given a few pills to tide her over, but during the wait that followed she worried about another stroke.
Mrs. Mitchell says, "I would just call and call and call."
Today all her bureaucratic red tape is gone.
Hamp Rusell is a pharmacist who has delt with the new insurance. "Things are getting better and we're not having nearly the problems that we had initially."
But this pharmacy still has to give some patients enough drugs to tide them over. Many states are offering a temporary band aid by getting state money to the pharmacies.
Some states like Illinois are recouping their money from the drug companies, but not here.
Russell says, "In due time, after these people become eligible, or we get their information, we in turn have to refile with medicare, recieve reimbursement for medicare and the state will recoup that money by taking away from our Medicaid reimbursements every month for a period of 3 months.
The maximum cost to Alabama is $15 million dollars. But state officials say they don't believe the costs will reach the maximum level before the kinks are worked out.
And more people like Easter will have easier access to their medicines.