A few years back, my state decided to allow three private companies called MCOs to take over medicaid. The republican governor at the time promised us that this would somehow save us $53 million. So far, there has been NO savings (the MCOs keep asking the state for more money), and the MCOs are refusing to pay for important services. They are required by law to pay for all medically necessary treatment, but the problem is, some people may not see psychiatric treatment as medically necessary. They are not paying for therapy, visits with psych med providers and they are not paying for other important services.

I attend a day program called Journey. When I first started Journey, I went most days a week, and took most of the classes offered. I was living in a residential care facility for the mentally ill at the time, and this was a great way for me to get out of the facility during the day. I also learned important life skills that helped me be ready to move out of the facility and live on my own. Now that I have been living on my own for five years, I only attemnd two classes one day a week. Unfortunately at the end of this month, Journey is closing. This is because the MCOs which are supposed to be paying for us to attend are not paying. I know it hurts my service provider (they run the RCF where I used to live, and the provide SCL (supported community living) services where staff come to your house to help you with life) to close Journey, but they cannot keep it running when they are not being paid. I wrote them a letter about how much I will miss Journey, and about how some other changes they are making will be bad. They called me and said they have the same concerns I do, but their hands are tied unless the MCOs start paying their share.

I have written letters to my local congresspeople and our governor about this. I am asking them to hold the MCOs accountable. Our governor is new in her job–the former governor got sent to China by Trump. Maybe she will see this as a problem and work on fixing it. Maybe my letters will help. My friends have written letters as well, and we are hosting an event at my house on Saturday where anyone who wants help writing to these people can come and get help.

I am afraid that our local mental health center may have to close. They have already reorganized, and there is a hiring freeze despite several important people leaving recently. Other service providers in the area have also cut back. If we lose more services, there will be TON of people in big trouble. I am worried.

I have been clean from self harm for eight years. I plan to stay that way another eight years or more. But, if I lose my therapist or med provider, or any of my other services, it will become harder for me to stay clean.