It seemed like an ordinary day for Kalamazoo second grader Tiffany Weisseman as she sat on the couch eating her favorite snack, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. When she reached between the cushions to grab a dropped Cheeto (it was a big one), she discovered a vintage silver coin with an antelope on it.
“I went straight to coin-collecting TikTok to see if they could identify it for me,” she recounts, “and within minutes BigDimeDanny78 told me it could be worth over a thousand dollars. I was so excited and ran to tell my mom!”
When Tiffany told her mother, Erica, she got a very unexpected reaction. Erica immediately covered her mouth with her hand and whispered to her daughter not to speak so loudly about it. But by then it was already too late.
Tiffany recalls that moment, the moment it all came together for her. “Just then, I saw a light yellow piece of paper folded into an airplane shoot through our chimney, and I knew it was over.” The paper was a termination notice from Medicaid, who claimed this newfound collectible coin placed Tiffany in excess of the $2000 personal asset limit that restricts who can receive benefits.
When we asked about the policy’s fairness, her mother replied, “It’s completely unfair. Medicaid is the only healthcare option that will cover Tiffany’s expensive medication, and its financial restrictions force her into a perpetual lifetime of poverty. By keeping these rules in place, we are disincentivizing people with disabilities from becoming productive members of society, and endangering their health and wellbeing with financial instability.”
Medicaid responded to Erica’s bold comment with the following statement:
“Our business hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you would like to pay an overdue bill, please press 4. Our service representatives are doing their best to answer your call quickly, and we apologize for the delay. Please stay on the line, and we’ll be with you momentarily.”