Friday, December 22, 2006


Criminalizing Poverty, Part II

I got a surprise today when I got home from work around 4:10 p.m. (Bear with me. The time's important.) The surprise was not a good one. A while ago, I posted about filling out a MinnesotaCare application. The app went through okay and we got a notice that our coverage would continue. I waited for a bill. It did not enter our household until December 18, 2006 - this past Monday. The statement was dated December 13, 2006, with a due date of December 14, 2006. Got that? We didn't get the bill until FOUR DAYS AFTER IT WAS DUE! We wrote out a check and sent it on December 20, 2006. Today, the surprise. We got a cancellation notice from MinnesotaCare for not paying our bill on time. And, here's the kicker: The cancellation notice was dated December 14, 2006.

I immediately tried to call MinnesotaCare to let them know the situation and got a round-about system that never did give me the option to talk to a real person. I did find out the hours for the office: 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. I guess they figure that poor people sit on our butts all day watching TV. Funny that. I was at work all day. In fact, while there, I heard a program on MPR about what constitutes good design in both objects and systems. You now have an example of poor design, unless, of course, the MinnesotaCare system is purposely designed to criminalize poverty. It succeeded in making me feel like the lowest scum who'd ever slithered on earth. (No offense to you scum out there.)

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