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Health Payment Crisis: More aides finally getting paid

WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh0 -- Some good news at last for home health care aides in Ohio.
Payments many have been waiting for since June 1 are finally starting to come through for some.  Camilla Bennett and her husband, Larry, used to be music teachers.  Their son Jeremy was a music teacher too, although not now.  But music is still part of his life.

Jeremy is 45-years-old.  18 years ago he had a terrible motorcycle accident which left him brain damaged and paraplegic.

"He'll never get much better.  He'll never be able to walk and move his legs or think clearly.  Thirty percent of his brain was totally demolished.  We had to close our music studio in order to take care of him," said Camilla, Jeremy's mom.

Under a state program, family members can become Medicare paid care givers for relatives.  But like so many other providers, the Bennetts were caught in the disastrous start up of a new payment system called My Care Ohio.

Jeremy's father, Larry, said, "I think they thought they waited long enough and they could handle it but they were way out in left field and they couldn't handle it."

After insurance companies took over the payment system from the state payments to the Bennetts stopped.  To keep caring for their son, Larry and Camilla took out a home equity loan.  They borrowed from the bank.

"The whole summer has been hard.  We didn't have the money and obviously we don't make the money with the studio any more," Camilla said.

"Jeremy is not aware of any of the struggles as far as finances are concerned," Larry added.

Finally, after hours and days and weeks and months of phone calls to the insurance carrier, payment has arrived.  The Bennetts said Local 12 News contacting the state and the insurance company made the difference.  The Bennetts said they were pretty confident future payments will be on time.  Pretty  confident.  They certainly don't want to hear the same old late payment tune again.

There was no question, the payment system has begun working better.  But there was also no question that it's far from perfect. 

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