Only on 10: Same-sex couple has trouble with ID card
CRANSTON, R.I. —
Jennifer and Cynthia Brunelle, a married couple from Peace Dale, were struggling with their state health insurance.
Jennifer's identification card clearly illustrates why.
"This card right now has my name on it, and it says instead of a female it says that I'm a male," Jennifer said.
The error created problems for Jennifer when trying to get services. Bills have added up for medical visits that the insurance wouldn't cover because of mistake.
Jennifer called the state Department of Human Services for help.
"I'm a woman, is there any way we can change this? And they said it can't be changed until after (our marriage) recognized," Jennifer said.
The couple married in Massachusetts, and their marriage is now legally recognized in Rhode Island. The couple waited and then followed up.
"They told us to come back after Aug. 1, and we did and they can't change it," Jennifer said.
"She was so nice, and I have no complaints with the staff at DHS. She was great and she plugged it in, and she pressed female and she pressed enter, and she got a huge error message saying that married couples cannot have same the gender code," Cynthia said.
The Brunelles came to NBC 10 for help, and we reached out to the Department of Human Services.
"Luckily, once this was brought to our attention the problem was solved," said Fred Sneesby of the DHS.
The mistake appears to have been clerical and after NBC 10's phone call, it didn't take long to fix.
"There's no barrier in the system for same-sex couples to be able to become eligible for Medicaid and then to get the appropriate billing and services that they need," Sneesby said.
So for this married couple, the mistake they experienced appears to have been isolated.
It may point to a lack of training.
"It's possible. I don't know the particular circumstances here. But, yeah, clearly that's something that we'll follow up on to make sure that workers know exactly what to do," Sneesby said.
The correction was made Friday.