Don't take my nurses away: Double amputee fights over deductible issue

Don't take my nurses away: Double amputee fights over deductible issue


by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 11:01 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C -- Ty Williams lives his life in a wheel chair.

He is a double amputee who has very limited use of his arms. Ty’s only income is his social security disability of $962 per month.

Earlier this year Social Security gave him a three percent raise but that raise put him $11 over the state Medicaid cap, which meant Ty would have to pay a deductible of $700 per month to keep his in-home care.

If he couldn’t pay, he'd be forced into a nursing home.

At that point “this is a quality of life issue for me,” Williams said.

The state of North Carolina just recently fixed this problem so that state Medicaid benefits will not be affected by federal cost of living adjustments called a COLA.

Ty’s problem was solved, right? Wrong.

Mecklenburg County Social Services contracts with GT Financial, which pays out the money for Ty’s in-home caregivers, the very people who bathe him, help him in and out of bed every day and every night and help Ty live on his own.

Today, this care and these people are in danger of going away.  Ty got a letter dated November 5 saying he was “past due on deductable payments to the tune of $1,037.51.

It also said that if the balance wasn’t paid in full by Friday, November 30, “his contract…and care…would be terminated.”

Ty was stunned and confused by a deductable he says didn’t know anything about.

“They are threatening to cut this off unless I pay,” he added.

The NBC Charlotte I-Team has been working on fixing this for a week.

North Carolina State Legislators and Mecklenburg County Commissioners are addressing this issue, which can’t be resolved overnight. 

Williams says he paid the financial company $25 to keep his care while the numbers, confusion and uncertainty get worked out.