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Maryland sued over Medicaid delays

Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

BALTIMORE, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A class-action lawsuit accuses the Maryland Department of Human Resources of breaking state law by taking up to a year to process Medicaid applications.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the state sometimes takes as long as a year, far beyond the 60-day deadline set by the law, The Baltimore Sun reported. The suit was filed last week in state court in Baltimore by the Public Justice Center, the Homeless Persons Representation Project and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice on behalf of 10,000 disabled Marylanders.

"As a result of the defendant's failures, low-income and medically needy individuals with disabilities cannot obtain needed medical care and treatment and face serious, often life-threatening health risks," the complaint said.

Marylou Magee-Kern, 47, of Reisterstown, the lead plaintiff, said she applied for Medicaid last May after her husband lost his job. She said she got letters from the state in June and July and then heard nothing more until Saturday, when she was told her application is being processed.

Magee-Kern, who suffers from diabetes and other health problems, said she was unable to get medical treatment except in the hospital.

"You're borrowing off your brother. You're borrowing off your sister-in-law. You're borrowing off your former boss," she said. "It's been a really rough ride."

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