Call Kurtis: My Son’s Medi-Cal Card Has the Wrong Name

A Rancho Cordova family is frustrated over their son’s Medi-Cal account. His card has the wrong last name. After months of trying to get it fixed, they called Kurtis.

It seemed like a simple solution; make a call and get the name fixed. But they say it’s been anything but simple.

Debra Van Noy looks back on the day her son was born in 1993. “Justin was born on March 12 with a cleft lip.”

Justin Van Noy is doing much better these days, after two corrective surgeries and speech therapy. But he’s developed two extra teeth and his wisdom teeth are coming in painfully.

“So it basically feels like a big guy just comes up and socks you,” says Justin, pointing to the pain in his mouth.

He needs to see a dentist but there’s a problem with his Medi-Cal card. After Debra and Justin’s dad Tim applied for benefits last year, Justin’s card showed up with his old last name. He had it legally changed several years back to Van Noy, Tim’s last name and Debra’s now-married name.

Debra recalls applying for benefits, “I took the two pieces of papers and said, ‘This is what he was born with. Here is the amendment. Please make sure you put Justin Van Noy.'”

The family is frustrated because after sending in paperwork, making calls and stopping by the county offices, the card isn’t corrected.

“I just want other people out there in our situation to know that someone can help them,” says Debra.

So if the government won’t listen, where can you get help?

“A lot of what we do is empowering people to help themselves,” says Amy Williams, managing attorney of Legal Services of Northern California’s health unit.

Williams says the non-profit offers free help to low-income people with a number of issues, including Medi-Cal problems.

“We’re able often to just make a couple of different phone calls to people throughout the county and state, based on our relationships, and get things fixed,” says Williams.

In this case, CBS13 called Sacramento County on Justin’s behalf. They couldn’t explain the mix up to us. But after our call, they agreed to give Justin a new card, with the correct last name, clearing the way for him to see the dentist.

“I just want to get him in and get the rest of his stuff done so he can get on with the rest of his life,” says Debra.

Sacramento County tells us if you’re having problems with Medi-Cal you have the right to ask for a supervisor and escalate the issue all the way up to the program director.

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  • take a long look

    Yes, and getting to speak with a supervisor or program director, and going thru all those channels, can take up to six months. Sometimes longer. When someone is in pain or threat of infection, this is too long.
    Take the child to a dentist and then approach medi-cal to make them legally responsible for payment.
    If you have done everything else, this is the only approach that works. Unless you get lucky and a reporter calls them!

    • Zesina

      Sometimes medi-cal will refuse to repay.. this happend to me when i was pregnant and now i have over $2,000 owed to creditors that medi-cal refused to pay…. its sad but true

  • sue

    I get Medical and got a paper from medical that says if you are 55 or older you have to repay all your Worldly pocessions to repay medical,They say give this imformation to your relatives in 90 days so they can collect…what happens if you don,t give this infomation to you relatives and do they sell all you pocessions,,,I do not have anything of worth!

  • RN

    While the following link may look suspicious because of the name,I assure you it is indeed all about medi-cal and what they can and can not do upon your death.
    However, please note, if you received medi-cal by lying about your income or providing false information, they can do just about anything and these rules do not apply. Good luck.

    • sue

      Thanks alot I did not know this or was paying mind to this, when I was so sick and needed Medical services and had No Medical Insurance…I have a mobile home, Tailor would they take this also…

      • sue

        No,, I never Lied ….I was sick and Not old enogh for medicare ,,,Yet.. I had no Options and I was widowed and No .54 now I am 63 and Have Medicare/medical on SSI , diabled,, But my Hubby died at 57 yrs and I have been Trying to fin for my self and Life is really hard, I have a old mobile, old car and My son trys to help me…I get 744 and 130,,,,But my son should get my stuff and my hubby,s stuff it is not fair, for my illness, to the medical take my stuff…I paid taxes all my life now I am sick the vultures are circleing before I die…and after

  • derf

    the name is not a biggie, just as long u r eligible. Primarily is ur SSN that counts.

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